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Factory Workers On Strike In Southern Iran

Strikes and protests by Iranian workers are now spreading to large factories.
Workers at two major industrial enterprises in Iran's southern province of Khuzestan are on strike, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports.

Some 1,500 employees of the Imam Port Petrochemical Complex have been staging gatherings in front of its headquarters since April 9 to demand their work contracts be concluded directly with the plant's management rather than with contractors.

According to the Free Union of Workers in Iran, 1,000 workers at the Pars Paper Mill in southwestern Iran similarly launched a strike on April 9. They are protesting the dismissal of 60 workers who were on temporary contracts with the factory.

Norway-based labor activist Sadegh Kargar told Radio Farda on April 10 that strikes and protests by workers are now spreading to large factories.

He said the main reasons for such actions are workers' dissatisfaction with their wages and a lack of job security.

"The workers also want to sign contracts directly with factories and not through contractor companies," Kargar said. "They want labor law to be enforced in this respect, so they can enjoy the same benefits as official employees."

So far, Iranian authorities have not reacted to the strikes, which have not been reported by state media.

Read more in Persian here