Following their recent round of trade union protests that began on February 13, a number of workers from the Iran National Steel Industrial Group (INSIG) in Ahvaz have had their access cards blocked, preventing them from entering the company.

Bank-e Melli owns INSIG, and workers of this complex have repeatedly demanded a change in ownership.

The confrontation with some of the workers of INSIG occurred while the protesting workers were calling for a review of the job classification plan, addressing fundamental shortcomings and deficiencies in certain aspects of it, as well as aligning wages with similar steel companies.

Workers of INSIG in Ahvaz had previously gone on strike in January for a week to address their demands.

Simultaneously, protesters criticized the “enslavement” of workers by provincial, banking, and corporate officials in Khuzestan province in a statement, declaring the managers’ dithering as insulting.

On December 29, 2023, in a report quoting Hamid Haj Ismaeili, an expert in the field of labor and workers’ activism, Mehr News Agency wrote that the wage level in Iran is relatively low compared to the world, stating, “If we look optimistically, we don’t have a rank better than 150 out of 180 countries.”

According to ILNA News Agency, the average hourly wage in European and American countries ranges between 23 to 26 euros, but in Iran, this figure barely reaches 160 to 170 dollars for 192 hours of work per month.

This is occurring while the minimum cost of living in Tehran has exceeded 300 million rials (approximately $527), and in Iran as a whole, it has reached 220 million rials (approximately $386).

In recent years, the number of labor and trade union protests in Iran has been expanding. These protests, in the form of strikes, gatherings, and protest marches, include issues such as delayed wage payments, privatization, worker layoffs, non-implementation of the job classification plan, and low wage levels.

Source » iranfocus