Workers of the Iran National Steel Group in Ahvaz gathered outside government buildings and marched on the streets of the southwestern city of Ahvaz demanding their unpaid wages on the 36th day of their rally.
The workers chanted against government policies and officials with raised fists.
Women were at the forefront the demonstrations holding a large banner which said, “The government is urinating on our lives but the media says it’s raining,” in English and Farsi.
Reports from Ahvaz indicate that a large number of riot police were also stationed in Ahvaz to intimidate the workers. The report said that dozens of police buses were also brought to the scene to detain workers.
Yet, the National Steel Group workers ignored the police and cried out their chants.
“The governor is incompetent and lacks zeal,” the cried out in unison.
The angry workers also chanted, “inflation, high prices, answer Rouhani”, “victory is near, death to the deceitful government”, “every worker calls for the death of tyrants”, and “a nation has never seen such injustice.”
Reports also indicate that internationally acclaimed Iranian director Jafar Panahi also participated in today’s protests. Panahi, who has won numerous awards at the Cannes and Berlin Film Festivals but is banned from making movies in Iran, intends to make a documentary on the Iran National Steel Group workers.
The last time the National Steel Group workers rallied was on Wednesday when they warned that if officials failed to comply with their demands, they would come out in full force on Saturday.
The workers are demanding an end to the privatization of the company and that it be transferred back to the public sector. They are also protesting the detention of labor activists and their unpaid wages.
At least 10 National Steel Group workers were summoned to the Ahvaz intelligence agency 10 days ago where they were warned against continuing their protests.