Iran: oil and gas workers striking for better conditions

27 June, 2024Iranian workers employed at oil and gas sector projects, at more than 90 worksites including refineries, oil and gas installations and power plants throughout Iran, started striking on 20 June, demanding shift changes, elimination of employment agencies and wage increases. 

IndustriALL’s Iranian affiliate the Union of Metalworkers and Mechanics (UMMI) supports the 14:14 campaign calling for oil and gas sector companies to improve working conditions that are comparable with better working conditions in state-owned and regulated companies. The campaign advocates for implementing a rotational schedule of 14 days working on site and 14 days paid off. Right now outsourced workers operate in extreme heat and often unsanitary conditions with a schedule of 20 days of work followed by 10 days of paid holiday. 
On the first day of the strike more than 3,000 workers joined. As of the morning of 26 June field reports showed that 21,000 project workers from 92 companies operating within the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries joined the strike. It is expected that thousands more will join in the upcoming days. 
In addition, the striking workers are also demanding improvements in living conditions, enhanced cleanliness and sanitation in dormitories, better food quality in canteens, improved transportation services to and from the site, and the installation of effective air conditioning and ventilation where temperatures exceed 50 degrees celsius in some regions.
In 2021, a strike by 110,000 project workers in the same sector continued until workers’ demands were met, which resulted in an improvement on the previous 24:6 working pattern to the current 20:10 pattern, improved living conditions, as well as an agreement by employers to pay into the social security system for outsourced workers.
In a letter to the union expressing solidarity, IndustriALL general secretary, Atle Høie, said:

“You are not alone, sisters and brothers, your voice is strongly heard throughout the world. IndustriALL Global Union stands in solidarity with your struggle and just demands.”

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