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Iran's Protesting Railway Workers Get Pledges of Help But No Salaries  


Railway workers stage an overnight sit-in at the Tabriz railway station in northwestern Iran from July 29 to July 30, 2018. The workers have been protesting unpaid salaries and other work-related grievances.

An Iranian news agency says railway workers protesting unpaid salaries in northwestern Iran have received pledges of assistance from local authorities but no apparent timeline for getting their wages.

The state-run Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) said the governor of the city of Tabriz met with the protesting railway workers at his office on Monday and promised to address their concerns. ILNA said a group of contractors for a railway development company had spent the previous night staging a sit-in at Tabriz's railway station after having been on strike for six days to protest their unpaid salaries. The strike began in the regional city of Salmas and spread to several others, including Tabriz, Ajabshir and Marand.

The news agency said Tabriz's governor also instructed the director of railway operations for Iran's northwestern Azerbaijani region to go to the capital of Tehran on Tuesday to discuss the protesters’ demands with the central government. But ILNA’s report did not say if or when their salaries will be paid.

In this undated image published by Iranian news agency ILNA on July 30, 2018, railway workers stage a protest in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz to demand resolution of labor complaints including unpaid salaries.
In this undated image published by Iranian news agency ILNA on July 30, 2018, railway workers stage a protest in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz to demand resolution of labor complaints including unpaid salaries.

ILNA quoted the regional railway director as saying about 600 contractors for the railway development company have received no wages for two months.

ILNA said the Iranian railway workers also have been protesting a reduction in salary premiums for hardship assignments and a previous employer’s failure to offer benefits for length of service.

Iran has seen frequent labor protests and strikes this year, involving workers angered by unpaid salaries, reductions or losses of benefits, layoffs, production cuts and the weakening of the national currency.

This report was produced in collaboration with VOA's Persian Service.

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