Press release – Solidarity organisation calls for support for striking oil workers

3rd August 2020

For immediate use

The Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People’s Rights (CODIR) has appealed to trade unions in the UK to support oil workers across Iran in their demands to be paid for their work.

Iranian workers from a range of industries across the country, including the critical oil and gas industries, went on strike last week to protest the non-payment of their wages among other issues.

The strikes took place in various refineries in southern Iran where workers demanded the payment of months of wages owed in arrears.  Workers at the Qeshm heavy oil refinery claim they have not been able to settle payment issues on a consistent basis with their employer in recent months.

The Abadan oil refinery, in the southwestern Khuzestan province has witnessed numerous protests by workers in recent months and these continued last week.

Workers in phases 22 and 24 of South Pars, the world’s largest gas field, also went on strike on with similar demands. Workers in these phases have been forced to take strike action several times since 2017.

CODIR Assistant General Secretary, Jamshid Ahmadi, called upon UK trade unions to support their colleagues in Iran, stating,

“In recent years, non-payment of wages in Iran has been a major problem for workers which has resulted in protests and strikes in different parts of the country,” he said, “Employers are quite happy to take the profits from this resource rich country but are often slow to give workers payments for their labour.  This is simply unacceptable practice when workers have bills to pay and families to feed.”

Strike action also ceased production at the North Azadegan oil field when workers stopped work in protest against low wages. The strike occurred after the executive director of the oil field threatened to fire some of the employees.

The strikes are taking place in a climate where protest action in general and trade union activity in particular can meet with harsh treatment by the Iranian regime, including imprisonment, for those demanding basic rights in the workplace.

The IndustriALL Global Union has written in solidarity with Iranian workers, stating in the strongest terms,

“It is imperative that subcontracting companies, which are pervasive in the oil and gas sector, address the legitimate demands of workers concerning, among others, fair wages, payment of correct work insurance for workers based on their jobs and salaries, provision of transport with adequate air conditioning in the extreme heat of the oils fields, which reaches up to 50 degrees Celsius, and provision of adequate dormitories for workers who stay on site for

weeks at a time because of the remoteness of the sites.”

CODIR is calling upon UK trade unions to show the same level of solidarity and make their voices heard in support of their colleagues in Iran.


Further information for Editors

Contact Information for CODIR:-

Postal Address:

Further information on CODIR

CODIR is the Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People’s Rights.  It has been established since 1981 and has consistently campaigned to expose human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

CODIR has worked closely with the trade union movement in the UK, the peace movement, all major political parties and Amnesty International to press the case for an end to torture in Iran’s prisons.  Major trade unions in Britain including UNITE, UNISON, NE|U, NASUWT, RMT, FBU, UCU and … are affiliated to CODIR and support its campaign for peace, human and democratic rights, and social justice in Iran.

CODIR has published Iran Today, its quarterly journal, since 1981, explaining the latest developments in Iran and the most effective way that the British public opinion could demonstrate its solidarity with the people of Iran.

In recent years CODIR has worked closely with Stop the War Coalition and has been vocal against any form of foreign intervention in the internal affairs of the nation.

Jane Green

National Campaigns Officer
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