The Chadormalu iron ore mine in the central Iranian province of Yazd employs about 5,000 workers, mostly through a series of independent contractors. On 25 January, 300 workers employed through the independent contractor Bahavand Barad walked out in protest just as their contracts were due to be renewed.
The workers had been planning to form a union to address low wages and an unjust occupational classification plan that discriminates against contract workers. After the walk out, the contractor fired the workers. The protests at the mine are ongoing.
Another group of 300 workers, employed through the Hatami contractor, protested against the incorrect classification of jobs and discrimination between direct and contract workers, which have resulted in a reduction in their earnings compared to direct employees.
They were also protesting against provincial labour department officials siding with the employer. The workers had been waiting for job classification for more than 19 months. When it was applied incorrectly, it resulted in a relative reduction in their pay.
The content of the occupational classification plan for contracted out and direct employees is the same. However, a direct employee with the same qualifications and skill level is paid between 10 and 15 per cent more than a contract worker for doing the same job.