Metalworks Industries Workers Protest
On April 8, more than six hundred Metalworks Industries workers staged a protest gathering by the presidential compounds in Tehran. Following meetings with the authorities at the compounds, worker’s representatives set out for the Ministry of Industries while their comrades continued on with their presence at the presidential compounds. A deputy ministry announced the holding of a meeting with the worker’s representatives, the Tehran state authorities, and the factory’s management for April 9. From the last reports by Free Union of Iranian Workers, the April 9 meeting was held in the absence of the workers, following which the workers were handed a set of pre-agreed terms.
On April 7, the first day of work after the Spring holiday recess, Metalworks Industries unit 2 workers refused to attend their jobs. They rallied outside near the factory compounds. These workers were protesting broken promises and uncertain conditions at work. Metalworks Industries unit 1 workers also went on strike.
Last February, about six hundred unit 1 and 2 workers had closed down a major thoroughfare in Tehran as part of their protest. Following this, the new management signed an agreement in a joint meeting with the worker’s representatives and Tehran state authorities promising to pay back wages and yearly bonuses and benefits by this March. An Industries Deputy Minister who was present in that meeting also had declared that the Ministry would pledge to compensate the workers in case the management failed to do so. Yet no management representative showed up at the factory until that date while the worker’s representatives’ attempts to meet with the Ministry Deputy were rebuffed. The workers were subsequently paid only about 350 dollars each instead of all the dues and bonuses.
While the Metalworks Industry plants 1 and 2 always resumed operation by April 3, the workers were told to show up on the 8th. With no management representatives being present at the factory, the workers decided not to attend their jobs and the unit 2 workers staged protest in the factory compounds.
On the fifth day, the strike still continued. (Pictures courtesy of Free Union of Iranian Workers)