Iranian retirees and pensioners held protest rallies in several cities on Sunday. In Rash, Gilan province, the workers held their demonstrations in front of the local offices of the Welfare Organization, reiterating demands for the adjustment of their pensions according to the poverty line, government healthcare, and the payment of government debts to the retirement fund.
According to one of the protesters, given the current inflation rates and the possibility that it increases in the future, the retirees will not be able to pay for their monthly food and product baskets with current pensions and are facing severe problems. The Welfare Organization must also uphold its pledge to provide the pensioners with free healthcare services.
In Isfahan, retired steelworkers and pensioners rallied and protested their poor living conditions, demanding adequate pensions based on rising inflation.
Similar protests were reported in Khuzestan and Tehran.
In the past year, retirees have been regularly organizing protests in multiple cities. The protesters complain that their meager pensions are not nearly enough to cover their most basic expenses and are often delayed for several months.
The regime also refrains from adjusting their pensions in proportion to the rising inflation and the dropping value of the national currency and the costs of the product basket for a family of four. But regime officials refrain from addressing the pensioners’ demands.
The decline in Iran’s economy, spurred by government corruption and destructive policies, has plunged the lives of many pensioners and retired government workers into utter poverty. The rial, Iran’s national currency, has seen a huge dip in the past few years, losing more than 80 percent of its value.
This has caused a spike in the prices of basic goods. Meanwhile, pensions and salaries have not been adjusted to this fundamental shift in the economical dynamics of society. Under the current rates, most pensioners live under the poverty line.
The regime’s response to the protests of pensioners has been violent, cracking down on their protests and arresting them, or ignoring their demands and refusing to take any action. Some of the protesters have been arrested and sentenced to prison and flogging.
In addition to the pensioners, teachers have also been holding protests in recent weeks for better living conditions and basic rights. According to the regime’s own Center of Statistics, the inflation right is 44.4 percent and according to the figures of the labor ministry, the average price of foods and basic goods has increased by at least 83 percent in the past year.
At the same time, the workers of Rejal Petrochemical company of Khuzestan held protest rallies. These workers are demanding their salaries to be adjusted based on their difficult working conditions. They have also been denied their after-hour work bonuses for more than three years.
In Semnan, the workers of the Rangin Nakh textile factory in Semnan held a protest rally in front of the provincial governor’s office, raising demands that have been unanswered for several years. These workers, who have held more than a dozen rallies in the past months, have been demanding payments that have been overdue since 2013.
One of the workers said, “We are at least 50 workers who have overdue wages since 2013. Unfortunately, the city and province officials have not taken any action after eight years.”
In Ahar, northwest Iran, workers of the Mazraeh copper mine held a protest rally. The workers, who have been holding protests for several months, are demanding better wages and an improvement to their contract and work conditions.