Iran Labor Report: Workers block road after management’s decision to cannibalize plant

27 01 2010

Via Network of Iranian Labor Unions (NILU)

January 24, 2010

180 Kerman Bafteha Textile workers closed several roads to protest share-holders’ decision to end operations. The roads stayed blocked from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. One of the protesting workers told the semi-official Iran Labor News Agency (ILNA): “Some in the management decided to dismantle the company and move the equipment to the city of Qazvin and we decided to block the roads at noon in opposition to this decision.” He added that the management had decided on January 20 to lay off 18 of the workers. Another 35 were slated to be dismissed by February 10th and the rest in the following month next. The executives are to put the 14 thousand acre land on auction.

Prior to this, according to the same worker, 550 were employed at the plant while today only 180 remain. Another worker mentioned that in 2000 and 2001, the management had declared the equipment to be rundown and unsuitable for operation. At the same time, the same machinery had been transferred to the provinces of Golestan and Tabriz under different ownership where they were still in use.

Running down healthy and newly-privatized plants, cannibalizing their equipment and selling their choice assets, such as land, is a common practice in Iran.

The political deputy at the Kerman governors office, Gholam Rezai, met with the protesting workers at 4:00 p.m. and made a vague promise to put together a commission with Jadidsaz, the company representative at the governor’s office.

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