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Date updated : 04-Dec-2017

Status: active

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Iran: Four months without wages! Haft Tapeh sugar workers launch strikes and demonstrations

On December 2, workers at the giant Haft Tapeh sugar cane plantation and mill complex in Shush launched a new round of strikes and demonstrations after more than four months without wages or benefits. The workers and their families are hungry, and they need your support.

The Haft Tapeh workers have always had to fight for their wages and pensions 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. In June this year, the workers again held work stoppages and demonstrations to demand payment of wage arrears of up to four months. In response to our international campaign, the wage arrears were partially settled; temporary workers are still owed two months' wages for 2016. But workers have not been paid since July 11. And many workers face criminal charges in connection with their earlier protests over non-payment of wages.

Union leaders have endured arrest, prison and blacklisting. The workers and their union again face repression and threats to close the business as they demonstrate for their wages, their pensions and their rights. When Haft Tapeh worker Aube Aghaabi recently took the company to court after a serious workplace accident, management retaliated by firing him along with 50 relatives or workers with a similar last name. The factory is under constant surveillance by the security forces.

Conditions at Haft Tapeh have worsened since the company was privatized in a murky 2015 privatization deal. Pension benefits have been suspended due to the company's failure to pay into the state social security scheme

The Haft Tapeh workers are demanding full payment of wage and benefit arrears; recognition of the union as the workers' legal representative; reinstatement of all unjustly terminated workers; 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

Workers at the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company in Shush have not been paid since July. Retired workers have not received their pensions. Many workers face criminal charges in connection with their earlier protests over non-payment of wages. I call on your government to ensure that all current and retired Haft Tapeh workers are paid all wages, benefits and pensions owed, and that these continue to be paid; that all charges be dropped against Haft Tapeh workers protesting wage arrears earlier this year; that the Haft Tapeh Sugar Workers Union is recognized as the workers' legal 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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