A view from Iran Telecommunication Industry (ITI) company in Shiraz, Fars province

Over 1,300 Iranian Retirees Refused Benefits For Nearly 20 Years

Friday, 04/12/2024

For almost two decades, nearly 1,300 retired workers for a telecommunication company in Iran have not received their benefits, wages, and pensions, according to the workers’ union.

Speaking to the semi-official state broadcaster ILNA, Hashem Shamshiri, the head of the retirees’ union, lamented the authorities' failure to fulfil their promises to compensate the workers for the company based in Shiraz in southwestern Iran.

About 125 retirees passed away, before receiving their benefits.

Despite pledges by the company to resolve the retirees' claims before the Persian New Year in March, the workers have yet to be given their wages.

The retirees have resorted to protests on numerous occasions, including in 2021 when they held a rally in Shiraz, and their demands for their rights were met with violent attacks by the state police.

The lack of compensation has impacted at least 1,000 households – leading to much frustration among the families and retirees.

The company owes 1,300 retirees about 1 trillion Rials in wages, damages and accrued interest. At the current exchange rate, this amount is approximately $1,200 USD (770 million Rials) per retiree. However, before the steep devaluation of Iran’s currency in 2018, this amount would have equaled tens of thousands of dollars per retiree.

The company has reportedly faced economic hardships after its privatization in 2005. As the main investor in Iran Telecommunication Industry (ITI), Asia Tech Company holds the key role in resolving the nonpayment of employees.

Disregard for workers’ rights is not an isolated incident limited to ITI — but, part of an ongoing crisis faced by many workers in Iran across multiple sectors including education, oil and gas, and steel.

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