Lashes and imprisonment instead of wages for Hepco workers
With over 43 years of history, the Hepco Company, the largest manufacturer of road construction machinery in the Middle East, has been in the midst of being destroyed for years due to the treacherous policies of the regime in the transfer of main industries and factories to the regime’s authorities and confidants, and uncontrolled imports the company, with a production capacity of 3000 units, has dropped its capacity to 100 units, and its employment capacity of 3,000 workers has been reduced to 900, who are in turn in a disastrous situation for non-payment of their salaries and benefits for months.
In order to intimidate the workers, regime’s judiciary has condemned 15 Hepco workers to 74 lashes and one to two years in prison for their protest rally in June of last year. The charges against the Hepco workers who were protesting non-payment of their salary and benefits, and failure to implement the deceptive promises of the regime, were mentioned as disrupting public order and propaganda against the regime.
Regarding the Hepco workers’ strike, the National Council of Resistance of Iran issued a statement on October 28, 2018, titled: Flogging and prison sentence for 15 Hepco workers. The statement detailed in part:
“The clerical regime’s judiciary in the city of Arak, in a five-year suspended sentence, in order to intimidate protesting and striking workers, condemned 15 Hepco workers to 74 lashes and one to two years in prison for their protest rally in June of last year.”
During the last year, many Iranian factories were shut down and many workers were fired because of the destructive policies of the regime and the collapse of its economy. Many factory workers have not been able to provide their livelihoods because of non-payment of their salary and benefits for months.
Regarding the destructive acts of the mullahs’ regime, labor protests have increased dramatically over the last year, and workers, including Hepco workers, have used every opportunity to express their legitimate objections and demands.
What are the Hepco workers’ demands?
The workers’ demands are nothing but the most basic human rights this includes:
- Wages relevant to the economic situation of the country and receiving their unpaid wages and benefits,
- Freedom and the return of arrested and expelled workers to the factories,
- Ending the arrests and repression imposed by the mullahs’ regime to end labor protests,
- Equal Wages for men and women,
- Equality of men and women in choosing a job and the elimination of gender discrimination regarding employed women,
- The right to organize independent labor and guild unions.
The clerical regime responds to the protest of protesting workers with flogging and imprisonment while more than 90% of workers live below the poverty line, and their livelihood is getting worse every day. The representative of workers at the Supreme Council of Labor says: “83% of workers live below the death line.
The reality is that the living condition, especially the laborer’s, declines every day in 2018, and in the second half of the current year, people’s tears are shed to pay for their expenses.
In the sensitive and revolutionary conditions in which the Iranian society undergoes, the Iranian resistance and the Iranian workers urge the International Labor Organization, the international labor unions and international human rights organizations to support the rights of Iranian workers and to take urgent action to prevent the increasing crimes of the Iranian regime against Iranian workers and to abolish slavery era punishments..
The main cause of regime’s hysterical reactions and fear which leads to issuing these criminal sentences is the continuation of protests in connection with the Iranian popular resistance movement and its central force, the MEK.
Protest action of the brave Hepco workers in course of achieving their demands deserves enjoying the support of the workers and youths of Arak, and of course, these demands will be achieved by national solidarity and continuation of the uprising and the overthrow of the Theocratic regime.