Strikes at Safa Steel Rolling and Rolling Profiles in Saveh
According to the reports by Free Union of Iranian Workers, the workers at Saveh Safa Steel Rolling and Rolling Profiles, companies owned by the same owner, Rostami Safa, have gone on strike over the issue of unpaid wages.
The first strike took place on November 13. It quickly spread to the whole plant on November 14. The management promised to pay one month’s overdue wages by the following day. That evening, the workers decided to end their strike with the understanding that they would resume it if the rest of the six month’s past wages were not paid by November 17.
Two days prior to the strike action, one of the workers named Hossein Kabousi, a worker laid off without payment of wages, physically engaged in shutting down the main gates of the plant and preventing trucks from entering or leaving. In a surprising act of solidarity, security guards summoned to the scene refused to use force to remove Hossein.
With no payments received after four days, the workers went on strike again. Interestingly, engineers at the plant also joined them. Rostami Safa, the owner of the factory, showed up at the workers gathering and made promises to pay the July dues and pay the rest of dues by March of the coming year. The workers ended their strike following these promises.
Safa Steel Rolling workers once again stopped work and went on strike on November 26, demanding the payment of all their back wages. On the second day of the latest strike, the workers closed the warehouse, setting tires on fire and preventing cars from entering and exiting the compound.
A similar strike started by the night shift workers at Saveh Rolling Profiles, the sister company of Safa on the same day joined by the day shift workers on the subsequent day.
The owner threatened lockout. The workers responded by taking their strike to Saveh governor’s office.
Each of the factories owned by the same owner employs 1200 workers, both owing six months of back wages, and now on strike. As of this writing, the dispute remains unresolved and the workers at both plants continued with the seventh day of their strikes.
Update: The workers ended their strike on December 5 with little hope of their employer fulfilling any of its promises. They also vowed to resume their strikes if the promises were not kept.