After the judicial and security authorities in Bushehr province rejected three official requests from the South Pars Gas Field Workers Union to address their objections to working conditions and unresolved demands, including the implementation of proper job classification, organizing the situation of drivers of rental cars, implementing a service compensation plan for them, organizing the working schedule of all workers and employees including those in administrative and support units, and organizing the welfare services, especially the status of dormitories and camps, the security police arrested five activists of the union in two consecutive shifts on 29 and 30 Bahman (18 and 19 February). Alireza Mirghafari, the head of the South Pars Gas Field Workers Union, and Hojat Rezai, a representative of workers at the South Pars Gas Refinery 6, were arrested on Monday night, just one day before the planned gathering, and Zabihollah Mirzaei, an inspector of the South Pars Gas Field Workers Union, was detained on the morning of the previous day after being summoned to the security police office. Behdad Gholami, a member of the South Pars Gas Refinery 6 Trade Union Association, and another member of the South Pars Gas Refinery 5 Trade Union were also arrested on February 19, 2023, at the site of the gathering that had been planned for February 20, 2023.
According to the information provided by South Pars Gas Field Workers Union activists, the workers have raised their demands and requests in three shifts regarding the implementation of proper and complete job classification, organizing the situation of drivers of rental cars, implementing a service compensation plan for them, organizing the working schedule of all workers and employees including those in administrative and support units, and organizing the welfare services, especially the status of dormitories and camps. They emphasize that their demands are completely professional and in the direction of reviving the rights of workers.
After the last statement of the South Pars Gas Field Workers Union was published on February 18, 2023, on the official channel of the union, the security police arrested the activists and even on the day of the planned gathering on February 20, 2023, the police had a strong presence to prevent any demonstration or gathering.
We strongly condemn the attack and violence of the security forces on this gathering and demand the release of all activists and workers who have been arrested. We call on all independent labor movements, organizations, and unions to strongly condemn these heinous acts of security forces and join with other labor activists in striving for the liberation of workers.
In the unfortunate economic situation and the imposition of poverty and misery on the working class, the arrest of these activists once again shows that the security and judicial forces are not even adhering to the existing laws regarding workers’ protests and associations in the Islamic government.
Protest, strike, and organization are our undeniable rights as workers.
Campaign to Support Iranian Workers (CSIW)