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Four Labor Activists Put On Trial Two Days Before Nowruz

Iran's Haft Tapeh sugar factory workers started a strike in December 2017, which gained momentum in January.

The labor union representing workers of Iran’s Haft Tapeh sugar production complex has announced that four of its members have been put on trial, accused of participating in strikes.

According to the union two members of its board and two regular members were called to the public prosecutor’s office in Shush, southern Iran, on Sunday, March 19, two days before Nowruz, the Iranian new year.

After a hearing, the workers were allowed to leave by posting their future salary slips as bail, pending the completion of the trial.

The labor union condemned “all kinds of legal pursuit” of workers and demanded freedom for all labor activists.

The Haft Tapeh workers have been protesting and striking for months for unpaid wages. Their union in its statement said, “Not only the workers have not received their salaries for months and no New Year bonus, they are being subjected to legal prosecution instead of their employer being held responsible”.

The Haft Tapeh sugar production complex was privatized in murky circumstances two years ago and problems with salary payments and health insurance began to multiply.

Recently, one of the workers, Ali Naghdi committed suicide jumping into a deep-water canal, after his pleas for a small loan to make end meet was rejected. He had not been paid for months.