During the first week of Tir month in 1402 (June/July 2023), at least 30 peaceful gatherings or strikes of workers’ protests were held in Iran in response to the deteriorating economic conditions. Civil demonstrations, primarily in protest against the unstable livelihood situation, have been a recurring phenomenon, but in recent weeks and months, due to the intensification of the economic crisis and worsening livelihood conditions for workers, the protests have become more intense.
On Friday, the 1st of Tir, a group of workers from the Karun Agricultural and Industrial Company in Shushtar, Khuzestan Province, went on strike to protest against poor livelihood conditions and the neglect of their demands. Similarly, some employees of the Bandar Abbas Power Plant gathered peacefully in protest against the neglect of their livelihood demands within the power plant premises.
On Saturday, the 3rd of Tir, a group of employees from the Social Security Organization gathered in front of the organization’s building in Tehran to protest against poor livelihood conditions, low wages, and benefits, and the lack of attention to their demands.
On Monday, the 4th of Tir, retired individuals from various cities, including Rasht, Ahvaz, Kermanshah, and Shushtar, gathered in front of the Social Security buildings in their respective cities. Retired individuals from Karkeh, Haft Tapeh, and Shush also gathered in front of the Cooperative, Labor, and Social Welfare Department in Shush county. Retirees from the Isfahan Steel Company gathered in front of the Pension Fund building, and employees of Justice Shares Cooperative gathered in front of the Investment Companies Union building in Tehran, holding peaceful protests demanding attention to their poor livelihood conditions and their demands. On the same day, a group of retired educators gathered in front of the governorate building in Yazd in protest against the failure to implement pensioners’ equalization law.
On Tuesday, the 5th of Tir, retired employees of the Telecommunications Company gathered in front of the company’s buildings in cities such as Zanjan, Shahrekord, Tabriz, Urmia, Borujerd, Ahvaz, Sari, Sanandaj, Isfahan, Arak, Khorramabad, Bandar Abbas, and Ilam, holding civil protests. On the same day, workers from the Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Company gathered in peaceful protests against the reduction of their base salary, job group reduction, and failure to calculate their seniority in employment decisions.
On Wednesday, the 6th of Tir, a group of retired individuals gathered in front of the Pension Fund buildings in Ardabil and Kermanshah, and some bakers gathered in front of the Bakers’ Union in Mashhad, holding civil protests and demanding attention to their livelihood demands. On the same day, workers from the Haft Tapeh Sugarcane Company held their third consecutive day of peaceful protests against their deteriorating livelihood conditions and neglect of their demands. During this gathering, the workers emphasized the need for accountability from the company’s managers and stated that they would continue their peaceful protests until their demands are met.
The protests have witnessed various slogans by workers, employees, and retirees, including “Empty promises are not enough; our tables are empty,” “We won’t sit down until we receive our rights,” “Inflation has made the market unbearable,” “Retirees are dying, and humiliation is unacceptable,” “Inflation and high prices are death to this life,” and “Free the imprisoned teachers.”
In recent months and years, with the alarming rise in inflation and the sharp decline in the value of the national currency in Iran, the income of many low-wage earners has become smaller than before, and a significant portion of them have fallen below the poverty line. As a result, many workers, employees, and retirees have engaged in peaceful protests, refraining from violence, and many have gone on strike.
Civil protests by various sectors have been accompanied by severe repression by the Islamic Republic. However, despite the intensified political and economic crisis in Iran, these protests are expanding and becoming more organized day by day.