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Date updated : 14-Jul-2017

Status: active

© 2017 IUF

Haft Tapeh sugar workers in Iran are fighting for their wages, pensions and rights!

Workers at the giant Haft Tapeh sugar cane plantation and mill complex in the southern city of Shush have always had to fight for their wages and their rights. In 2008, workers formed an independent union - affiliated to the IUF - following a 42-day strike to demand long-standing wage arrears. Union leaders have endured arrest, prison and blacklisting. The workers and their union again face repression as they demonstrate to claim massive wage and benefit arrears.

Conditions have worsened since the company was privatized in a murky deal in 2015 whose details have never been fully brought to light. Since October last year, workers have had to repeatedly hold strikes and demonstration to demand payment of wages and benefits, most recently in June this year. Thousands of workers have not been paid their wages for two months and as many as four. Pension benefits have been suspended in recent months because of the company's failure to pay into the state social security scheme. Over half the plantation and mill workers have no permanent employment contracts and live in permanent insecurity. Current and retired workers and their family members have been harassed and threatened with closure of the company if they continue to demand their rights; workers are routinely harassed, dismissed and kept under constant surveillance of the security forces.

The Haft Tapeh workers and their union are demanding full payment of wage and benefit arrears; recognition of the union as the workers' legal representative; and the company's return to government ownership.

Use the form below to send a message to the Iranian authorities in support of the workers' demands.

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To Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran

I write in response to massive and ongoing violations of the rights of the workers at the Haft Tepah Sugar Cane Company in Shush. The situation of the workers has always been difficult - workers have for many years had to struggle to ensure payment of their wages and workers' leaders have been harassed and imprisoned. But it has worsened since Haft Tapeh was privatized in 2015. Thousands of workers have not been paid their wages for as long as four months; social security payments have been suspended due to the company's massive debt to the social security administration. The workers live in permanent insecurity because over half have no permanent employment contract. When they demand their rights, Deputy CEO Siamak Nasiri-Afshar verbally abuses them and threatens closure of the company. The private owners have failed miserably. I call on your government to act to ensure that all current and retired Haft Tapeh workers are paid their full wage and benefit arrears; that the Haft Tapeh Sugar Workers Union is recognized as the workers' legal bargaining representative; and that the company is taken back into state ownership in view of the private owners' massive debt to the Social Security Organization and complete failure to meet the company's responsibility towards its employees.

Yours sincerely

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