The second protest rally of workers and permanent employees of Iran’s oil industry was held today [Tuesday 17 January] in several regions to call for the fulfillment of their demands – especially the implementation of Article 10 of the Duties and Authorities of the Ministry of Petroleum. This time around, the permanent employees of the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries organised protests and strikes on a wider scale [than seen recently]. Thus, today, numerous cities, regions, and sites – including Ahvaz, Mahshahr port, Gachsaran, Shiraz, Bandar Abbas, Aghajari, Abadan, Khark Island, Lavan Island, Khangiran, Arak, Mashhad, Dalan, and Farashband – witnessed united protest gatherings of permanent employees of various sectors of the oil industry. While the theocratic regime of Iran expresses its glee at the [apparent] quietening down of the recent nationwide protests; these rallies, protests, and strikes by [direct] permanent employees of the country’s [vital] oil industry undermine the regime’s propaganda about its supposed curbing of the popular uprising.
Furthermore, these broad protests follow on shortly after the budget bill for next year is presented to the parliament. This bill, in addition to setting the ceiling of a 20 percent “pay increase” for public sector employees – which wholly disregards the demands of [Iran’s] working class – includes an increase to the retirement age, as well as further privatisation, especially that of various sectors of Iran’s oil industry through the granting of licenses to various parasitic companies and [mercantile] foundations to sell oil. Therefore, this latest protest by the permanent employees of the oil and gas industry can legitimately be considered as another manifestation of the firm opposition of the country’s working class to the socio-economic orientation of the Islamic Republic and the mal-designs of the anti-national [anti-popular] government of Ebrahim Raisi.
The protests and strikes by the staff of the oil industry amidst the current highly delicate situation – in which the regime’s incompetence has created hardship for the people in the harsh winter due to gas shortages [in a country which has one of the highest natural gas reserves in the world] – reveals the true face and nature of the ruling dictatorship. This second incidence of protest rallies by permanent employees of the oil and gas industry taking place at this particular juncture is of great significance. Our Party calls upon all patriotic, revolutionary, leftist, and democratic organizations, parties, and forces to support the protest actions of the employees of Iran’s oil industry as well as all the other labour protests.
The Tudeh Party of Iran, the party of Iran’s working class, firmly supports the demands and struggles of the workers and staff of the oil industry. As always, we stand with the working class with all of our resolve and resources to fight for their labour rights as well as class and political interests. Let’s fight the ruling dictatorship by intensifying the struggle and organising labour strikes!
We salute and hail the workers and staff of Iran’s oil industry!
Forward to planning and organising labour and general strikes!
The Tudeh Party of Iran