Workers at the Isfahan Steel Mill Factory, central Iran, have begun a symbolic hunger strike on Saturday, February 28, 2009, which will continue for two weeks. They will not have the meals served at the factory premises according to reports from Iran.
The initiative comes in protest to inappropriate working conditions and both open and veiled discriminations against workers. They are also objecting to a wide gap in pay between full time and part time employees in the factory (on average nearly $300), as well as lack of job security.
Isfahan’s Steel Mill Factory has over 10,000 part time and 8,000 full time workers.
On December 2, 2008, some 1,000 courageous workers of the factory had set up a blockade on the main Isfahan to Shahr-e Kurd highway in protests over pay disputes.
In the past couple of months, deprived and angry workers in factories and work shops in various cities across the country have staged protests against lack of job security, unpaid wages and monthly benefits, and shortage of minimum necessities for themselves and their families. These workers include employees at the Haft-Tapeh sugar cane mill of Khuzestan, Ahvaz Pipe Mill, spinning and weaving companies of Meh Nakh and Farnakh in Qazvin, Khavar Cotton Mill, Pars battery of Qazvin, Korom Chemical Plant of Sari, Shabestar Textile Company, Lead and Zinc factory of Zanjan, Vegetable Oil of Qou, and Kesht-o-San’at of North.