The ACTU stands in solidarity with workers on strike at more than 60 oil and gas projects and petrochemical plants in nineteen cities across Iran as part of a coordinated action called Strike Campaign 1400 (referring to the current year in the Iranian calendar). The strike began on 19 June by workers employed by subcontracting companies that provide labour for projects in the oil and gas fields, and direct employees of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) have now joined the strike across the country.

The workers are demanding wage increases, adequate social security and better onsite living conditions. The strike mirrors a month-long wave of strike action by more than 10,000 workers that took place in the South Pars oil and gas fields in August last year (see our solidarity statement here), where workers won improvements to wages and living conditions. But with Iran’s inflation rate now reaching 50%, the price of food and other necessities has risen sharply, leaving workers and their families struggling to get by.

Iran is ranked among the worst countries in the world for workers, with no guarantee of rights. Independent unions are not recognized by the Iranian Government and workers are regularly threatened, detained and tortured. Workers’ demonstrations are violently repressed, with workers and union leaders arrested and imprisoned for exercising their right to strike.

Australian unions stand in solidarity with workers on strike in Iran, and call on the Iranian authorities and employers to respect the rights of the workers on strike and meet their demands.