Workers Rally in Tehran

Workers Rally in TehranWorkers Rally in Tehran

A large group of workers marched in Tehran Friday on the occasion marking the international Labor Day  (May 1), IRNA reported.

Before starting the rally they converged on 'Workers House' in Abu Reihan Street in downtown Tehran and then marched towards the iconic Enghelab Avenue and Palestine Square.

Head of Veteran Workers Association Hassan Sadeqi said that President Hassan Rouhani’s government does support the workers, but more should be done to improve their lot. The state news agency said the rally in Tehran was held after eight years.

A group of workers carrying placards called for social security cover for construction workers, job security for workshops and  hiring Iranian workers instead of foreign workers, a visible reference to the increasing number of Afghans working across the country, both legally and without valid permits.  In a resolution read after the rally, the workers called for a review of the pay scales for those in service now, pensioners and those retired due to illness and/or disability in the workplace.

They also appealed to the people to "buy Iranian goods" instead of foreign brands. The statement refereed to a recent recommendation by the leader in support of domestic production, and urged the relevant officials to do all that is necessary to "promote domestic products, back Iranian workers and their jobs," local news outlets reported Friday.

One of the key demands of the workers was the implementation "without any shortfall of the law on early retirement for hazardous jobs."  They also called for implanting another relevant law as per which workers can retire with a full pension after working for 25 years instead of the earlier 30.

The resolution included one of the long-pending demands of construction workers seeking full insurance coverage that normally covers medical expenses and retirement benefits. The issue has been in the making for several years with the relevant labor activists workers' unions calling on governments to take concrete action and uphold the legitimate rights of construction workers who normally are paid daily wages as 'seasonal workers' and do not benefit from any sort of insurance or long-term contracts.

Addressing themselves to the Majlis, the workers said, "We want the parliament to comply with the recommendations of the Leader, place stability of labor laws at the pinnacle of their agenda, and avoid changing laws to the benefit of one side."