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Labor Unrest Gains Momentum Across Southern Iran Railways

Rail workers on strike in Bandar Abbas, Iran, July 30, 2019

Rail workers blocked the tracks linking the port of Bandar Abbas in Hormozgan Province by the Persian Gulf to the Iranian capital Tehran for the second consecutive day on Tuesday July 30.

The Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) says the rail workers are on strike in protest to the non-payment of their wages for three months.

Another strike by Iranian rail workers has been reported in Shazand area on Tuesday where the work force has not been paid for two months.

Earlier this week, workers went on strike in Ahmadabad, Rafsanjan and Sirjan railways in the southern Kerman Province protesting delayed payments.

Some workers told reporters that their financial situation has worsened since parts of the railways' operation were handed over to the private sector in May.

Elsewhere, in Ahvaz, the capital of Khuzestan Province, 150 of the city's railways workers also went on strike in protest to delayed payment of their wages.

Also last month, workers at the Damash mineral water company went on strike as production stopped in the factory for the employer's failure to supply the required resources for production.

The mineral water company was handed over from the private sector to Bank Melli Iran in 2016 as its owners were unable to pay their debts.

Reports on labor unrest in Iran say there have been tens of protest gatherings during the past few months as workers have been increasingly unhappy about their financial situation and welfare.

Iran is suffering from near hyper-level inflation as the national currency has lost most of its value following the imposition of U.S. sanctions. Ordinary wage earners face much higher prices for food and other necessities, while the government and the private sectors are often unable to pay salaries.