Iran: Labor Day protests condemn regime corruption, call for elections boycott

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, May 2, 2021—On Saturday, Iranian workers marked the International Labor Day by holding protest rallies across the country. Labor communities, who had coordinated their rallies on social media, held their demonstrations in more than a dozen cities, including Tehran, Tabriz, Mashhad, Kermanshah, Sanandaj, Rasht, Isfahan, Qazvin, Ahvaz, Karaj, Arak, Khorramabad, Marivan, Haft Tappeh, Ilam, Borujerd, and Baneh.

In their rallies the workers reiterated their demands, including wages that allow them to conduct a decent living, job security, a clampdown on government corruption, and better working conditions.

In their protests, the workers stressed that government corruption is one of the main causes for the poor living and working conditions of the labor community. “The workers’ enemy is the government of looters,” the workers chanted in several cities.

They also made it clear that all three branches of power in Iran are to blame for the poor economic and living conditions of all workers. “The insurance organization betrays [workers] and the Majlis [parliament] supports it,” they chanted, indicating that the regime’s institutions are colluding to deprive workers of their rights and make their lives miserable.

The workers reiterated that the regime has failed to deliver on its promises to adjust their wages based on the growing inflation rates. “What happened to the adjustment law? It was all a lie and deceit,” the workers chanted, to which they added, “Living costs are calculated in dollars, our salaries are paid in rials.” In the past few years, the rial has lost more than 80 percent of its value, sinking to an all time low. This has caused a skyrocketing rise in the prices of all goods. Meanwhile, the wages of salaries of workers have not changed much.

They also slammed the state-run media for its role in censoring the voice of workers and refraining from unbiased reporting on the grievances of the labor community. “Shame on the state television and radio,” the workers chanted.

One of the significant aspects of the workers’ protests was the political nature. “We have heard so many lies that we will not vote anymore,” the workers chanted, indicating their will to boycott the regime’s upcoming presidential elections. With this slogan, the workers joined their voices to those of pensioners, farmers, and other communities who are fed up with the regime’s corruption and reject its sham elections.

These protests took place despite the regime’s efforts to intimidate workers and prevent them from congregating on the International Labor Day. According to reports, the regime’s security forces were on alert in cities where workers held their protest rallies. In Tehran, security forces attacked protesters and arrested at least 20 people.

These protests are the extension of a series of rallies that have been held across Iran and extremely express the Iranian people’s will for overthrowing the regime.

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