On Thursday, March 10, 2022, Iran’s Supreme Labor Council increased the minimum wage of Iranian workers by only 57%. It announced that about 1.5 million tomans would be added to workers’ minimum wage.
The state-run news agency ILNA reported that according to the resolution of this council, employers are obliged to pay the wages of unprecedented and childless workers in the Persian calendar year 1401 (2022), considering the housing allowance equal to 5.679 million tomans.
According to this decree, the minimum wage for a worker with one child is 6.307 million tomans and for a worker with two children is 6.725 million tomans.
At present, the inflation rate in Iran is above 50%, and many workers live below the poverty line, according to government statistics. The poverty line for Iranians in 1400 (2021) was between 9 and 12 million. Given that the government is facing a severe budget deficit, the inflation rate in 1401 will rise more rapidly.
An ‘army’ of 10 million underground workers
The rising cost of living for households in Iran directly results from the sharp rise in inflation that has gripped Iran’s economy in recent years. Some labor activists say the government should control inflation alongside rising wages; otherwise, rising salaries will also lead to more inflation.
In addition to the very high inflation rate in Iran, according to a study by the Center for Parliamentary Research, the unemployment rate in Iran is also above 25 percent, forcing workers to work for less than what the labor organization says. Many employers hire workers on a temporary basis and exploit them, so that they do not even have to abide by the anti-labor decrees of the Supreme Labor Council.
In a shocking confession, Ali Aslani, a member of the so-called Islamic Labor Councils, admitted last December that “we have about 10 million underground workers in the country.” These are workers whose salaries are not monitored, and all receive lower wages than the official minimum wage. “Some people have a monthly salary of 700 to 800 thousand tomans.”
The result is that in the Iranian New Year 1401, millions of Iranian workers still must live below the poverty line.