The Tudeh Party of Iran:
Warmest Greetings to the Struggling Workers of the Ahvaz National Steel Group!
Despite the regime’s anti-labour, predatory and reactionary policies, the Islamic Republic’slabour law requires companies with 50 workers or more to implement the "Job Classification” plan. The 3,000 workers employed at the INSIG- Ahvaz factory have been demanding the implementation of this plan. This has been especially true during the last eight years as they struggled against the 2009 privatization of the company. Therefore, not only must the law be implemented, but the employer must also pay the penalty for not complying with the law.
During a recent strike, workers protested at the non-implementation of the " Job Classification" plan and deactivation of entry cards for 21 workers. This deactivation effectively banned them from entering the factory. On 23 December2024, the CEO of the INSIG, Ali Mohammadi, said: “We proposed a 10% figure [the implementation of 10% of the "Job Classification" plan], but the protesting workers did not accept it and stated that aproportionalization exercise should be implemented so that the workers' salaries are equal to the average received by the Aksin Steel Group and the Khuzestan Steel Group, among others, and for this, 70% should be added to the average salary of employees”.
As the workers' strike continued, the entry cards of 17 additional workers were deactivated. Altogether 38 workers were locked out of the factory due to their involvement in protest against the non-implementation of the "Job Classification" plan. On 24 December 2023, the second day of the strike, a special unit of mercenaries of the regime, were stationed at the location of the strike where workers gathered.
In the agreement that followed, the workers received the promise of the implementation of the "Classification of Jobs" plan, with the salary increase to be reflected in their January salaries. Due to the non-fulfilment of the management's promise, the workers stopped working on 24 January 2024 and started a new round of strikes and protests.
Interestingly, while the CEO of the National Steel Group had proposed the implementation of 10% of the "Classification of Jobs" plan in the previous round of protests, this time he proposed the implementation of 5% of the plan.
In recent years, the workers mainly organized their rallies and protests in front of the provincial government complex and the city of Ahvaz governorate, which are the primary instruments of plunder. On 27 January, the workers of the INSIG held their protest rally in front of Khuzestan’s provincial government building. On 28 January, the sixth day of the strike, the Ahvaz steel workers started their protest rally in front of Khuzestan’s provincial governor’s office in Ahvaz in a magnificent demonstration. They then marched from the rallying place in front of the Ahvaz city hall and then to the central building of the National Bank of the province and adjacent streets. They marched to the city centre chanting these slogans [and calling on passers-by to join them]:
"We the steel workers, against oppression and violence!We fight!We fight!"
"Don't test us!We are molten steel!"
They demanded the return to work of all workers previously fired, full and immediate implementation of the “Job Classification” plan, equalization of wages with those of workers of other neighbouring steel companies, removal of the corrupt CEO, expropriating ownership from the National Bank, return of the company to the state, and workers' participation in the management of the company that ought to belong to workers themselves.
In the last four decades, based on the teachings of the chief plunderer, Khamenei, and other leaders, state officials in parliament and previous governments, the regime has promoted and continues to promote the policy of plundering national property, attacking the job security of workers, depriving them of [even] a very minimal livelihood, and violating their rights in the name of "justice". The workers of the Ahvaz INSIG in their mass demonstration in Ahvaz city centre,supportedby the people, chanted: "We have not seen justice! We will not vote again!"
The Tudeh Party of Iran condemns any violation of the rights of the Ahvaz National Steel Group workers and their suppression and firmly defends the rightful demands of the workers!
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