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Teachers and Workers Stage Protests

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 7:17 pm    Post subject: Teachers and Workers Stage Protests Reply with quote

Teachers and Workers Stage Protests

June 21, 2004
Radio Free Europe
Bill Samii

Several 19 June reports from the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) note that workers throughout the country continue to face difficulties. More than 200 salt factories are on the brink of closure and thousands of people could lose their jobs, salt-factories representative Hassan Ebrahimi Sarcheshmeh said.

He ascribed this situation to a doubling of salt prices by the federation of salt-mining cooperatives that disregarded the Commerce Ministry's opposition. If the situation is not resolved, Ebrahimi said, workers will stage protests. ILNA also reports that Luristan Province railway workers who have not been paid held another sit-in to protest non-payment of wages.

A Kurdistan Province textile factory's closure has left 300 people without jobs, ILNA reported on 19 June. Iraj Bahram-Nejad, a provincial House of Labor official, said that demand for their product is high, but there is inadequate supply due to a lack of cash and raw materials, as well as mismanagement. The factory's machinery is not running on the grounds that it will be replaced with new machinery, he said, but it was on the same pretext that other factories closed. Kerman Province House of Labor official Abbas Kar-Bakhsh said the Asia Textile Factory had closed because of mismanagement and a dispute between managers and shareholders, ILNA reported. This has put 110 people out of work.

Representatives of the country's teachers union held a sit-in outside the parliament on 15 June to protest salary problems, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported. Among their demands were a raise in salary and the use of available funds to benefit the teachers. Speaker of parliament Gholam Reza Haddad-Adel told the teachers' representatives that their problems cannot be solved until the Education and Training Ministry gets an adequate budget. He also said that approval and enforcement of pending legislation that unifies the salaries of government employees will help the situation.

A crowd consisting mostly of women and children demonstrated against child labor in Tehran's Laleh Park on 12 June, IRNA reported. They called on the government to prevent the spread of child labor and to help the families of working children, and they demanded that Iran adhere to international treaties against child labor. On 11 June the International Labor Organization issued a report entitled "Helping Hands or Shackled Lives" about the phenomenon of child labor (http://www.ilo.org/public/english/standards/ipec/publ/download/cdl_2004_helpinghands_en.pdf).

Several Iranian opposition websites have carried reports on protests by workers during the month of June. Foumanat Textile Factory employees have not been paid for four months, and last year 80 part-timers were dismissed and 170 employees did not get their bonuses, peykeiran.com reported. Workers at the Fahrabad Textile Factory have been laid off, and the factory reportedly is idle. Roshangari.com reported that Kerman Province mine workers are losing their jobs as a result of privatization by the government. Rouydad.info reported that about 3,000 agro-industry workers in northwestern Iran demonstrated against poor working conditions and nonpayment of wages.
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