From the November-December 2018 issue of News & Letters
Workers at Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane in Iran have been on strike for most of November. This is the latest of their walkouts this year over unpaid wages. Haft Tappeh is in Khuzestan, the province where the theocratic regime has centered a campaign of arrests—and even executions—of trade union activists, and dozens of the strikers were arrested. But workers at Ahwaz Steel, also in Khuzestan, have also walked out on strike and together joined massive demonstrations that managed to free many of the strikers.
Workers and students from across Iran have defied the mullahs by joining in acts of solidarity with Haft Tappeh workers. Heavy equipment workers, teachers, petrochemical workers and steel workers signed petitions and raised banners in support.
Students at Tabatabai University in Tehran expressed support for Haft Tappeh strikers as well as for striking teachers. Their slogans included: “Free all imprisoned Haft Tappeh workers”; “Threats and imprisonment don’t work anymore” and “Bread, jobs, freedom, councils.”
Workers in Iran are not settling for the glib charge that all their troubles are from U.S. sanctions. Widespread protests have protected most strikers who otherwise would have been picked off one by one by the regime. The Haft Tappeh strikers deserve worldwide solidarity.