Steel Workers Strike Resumes
According to the reports by the Free Union of Iranian Workers, Safa Rolling Pipe factory workers in the city of Saveh have resumed their strike over six months back wages.
1200 steel workers went on a four-hour strike on December 29, ending it following management’s promise to pay one month of their back wages. They then vowed to go on strike the next day in case their one month wages was not paid by midnight. The following day, with no action taken by the employer, the workers took their protests to the governor’s office at 4:00pm.
With the refusal of the state officials to meet with the workers’ representatives, the workers attempted to block the roads around the governor’s office. at 5:30pm, the governor of Saveh Province came to the workers’ gathering and announced that Rostami Safa–the employer at Saveh Profiles and Safa Rolling Pipes factories–will participate in a meeting at the governor’s office on January 1. He announced that the employer had agreed to pay one month of back wages, reinstate the 20 laid-off workers of Saveh Profiles, and subsequently called for an end to the strike.
The workers, however, stressed on payment of six months of their back wages and dues and their self-determination to continue with the strike. The workers chose 10 representatives to meet with Rostami Safa at the governor’s office for the meeting.
On December 31, the strike continued with the workers putting tires on fire and closing the gates of the plant. Fire trucks along with security forces asked the workers to take their protest inside the plant compounds. The strike continued with more gate closures in the afternoon of that day.
On the fourth day of the strike, 250 engineers and skilled personnel at the factory also joined the strike, closing the plant gates like they did the previous day. The workers representatives met as planned with the governor while Rostami Safa was absent from the meeting. The governor in an hour-and-a-half-long meeting stated to have a State Security Council meeting on January 5, committing Rostami Safa to paying the back wages, with the authority of his office for Rostami Safa’s arrest in case he fails to fulfill his promises.
The workers’ delegates declared that they would continue to strike and would only end it once their six months’ back wages were paid. The workers did resume their strike.
On the eighth day of the strike, Rostami Safa, the owner, showed at the workers protest gathering making promises and encouraging workers to end their strike. In a 2.5 hours meeting with the workers’ representatives, he promised to pay August, Sept., October and November wages in February, with December and January wages to be paid in March along with annual bonuses and the February and March wages to be paid after that.