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Protests By Iran Sugar Mill Workers Continue As Riot Police Arrives At Factory

Haft Tappeh workers protest in the streets of the southwestern city of Shush, in the oil-rich Khuzestan province. Nov 17 2018

Several labor rights groups in Iran have reported that protests by Haft Tappeh (Tapeh) sugar mill workers continued on Saturday.

The workers accompanied by their families marched in Shush, southwestern Iran, gathering near the governor's office to draw attention to their demands.

In the meantime reports also speak of anti-riot police being stationed in and around the complex in the early hours of Saturday. Up to three busloads of security forces have arrived from different cities of Khuzestan province.

Labor organizations say in their social media posts that the arrival of anti-riot forces signal a plan to break the workers' strike.

Haft Tappeh workers have been on intermittent strikes and protests for almost a year, for the mismanagement of their privatized complex, which has resulted in late payment of wages and lack of production by the factory.

The workers demand an end to the private ownership and either a takeover by workers or a combination of ownership in which they can have a voice in running the business.

The once profitable complex was privatized in dubious circumstances a few years earlier and its current owner appears to be on the run from the authorities for non-payment of dollar denominated loans from government banks.