Date of Publish: ۹ اردیبهشت ۱۳۸۹

Unemployment rising in Iran's labour sector

Iranian labour activists say that since the start of the new Iranian year in March, worker lay offs have increased by 50 percent.

Late last year economists and labour activists made bleak predictions about the labour situation in the coming year and warned that the government and production units will be unable to pay the backed up wages of workers.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei blamed those who have bought the factories from the government and sold off the land and its equipment.

Ayatollah Khamenei’s comments are his first official comments regarding the repeated news of bankruptcies in the manufacturing sector and the labour crisis that has been exacerbated by the economic downturn and an expansion of imports.

Islamic Labour Council has announced that they are receiving 70 percent more labour grievances and that workers in Tehran and other major cities and experiencing a 40 percent rise in unemployment.

Former labour minister Abolghassem Sarhadi criticizes government inaction saying:”If the government does not respond to the increasing inflation and labour demands, the situation will only deteriorate.”

One labour organization has announced that if the government fails to react to the delayed wages and disregards its responsibilities to the Welfare Department, they will stage a protest on June 15 in front of the Parliament.

Last year following protests by retirees, the government was charged by the parliament to increase the payments of 1.4 million retirees with a 2.5 million dollar budget, but protesters claim this commitment has not been fulfilled.

Chairman of the Expediency Council, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani encouraged the activities of labour organizations in a visit with Workers House organization and maintained that such activities open up some hope for the improvement of labour conditions.

The Islamic Republic has banned a number of labour organizations in the past years and incarcerated a number of leaders of labour protests.