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Labor Groups In Iran Ask For A Five Fold Increase In Minimum Wage

Haft-Tappeh sugar cane factory workers protesting low and unpaid wages. In center is a labor leader, Esmail Bakhshi, who is currently in jail. November 2018.

Three independent labor groups in Iran have demanded a minimum monthly wage of 70 million rials for the coming Iranian year.

Based on current free market exchange rates, the requested amount would be equal to approximately $540 monthly.

Based on multiple reports in recent weeks, inflation in Iran is extremely high with essential goods and specially foodstuff rising at almost double-digit rates every month.

The Free Union of Iranian Workers, The Committee for the Establishment of Labor Organizations and the Kermanshah Electrical and Metal Workers Union cited the leader of official coalition of labor unions as saying that the minimum subsistence need for workers is around $400 monthly.

The three labor groups in their joint statement issued March 7, say that the government’s Supreme Work Council deliberations on determining the minimum wage is leading toward an outcome, which will leave workers below the poverty line.

Currently the minimum wage is less than $100 monthly, because in the past one year the Iranian currency has lost most of its value compared with major currencies. The rial is now four times cheaper against the U.S. dollar than in February 2018.

U.S. economic sanctions reimposed on Iran last year contributed to the huge fall in the value of rial.

Other independent labor groups have also asked for a $540 minimum wage from the government. The amount is based on the basic needs of a family of four.