01 May 2024


Catégories // Messages // News and Activities // Remarks


Maryam Rajavi: International Workers’ Day is a day to reaffirm workers’ commitment to overturn the structures of oppression, exploitation, and the tyranny of religious dictatorship

 Workers and laborers of Iran,

Industrialists, oil workers, miners, farmers, nurses, construction workers, project workers, drivers, peddlers, porters, fuel carriers, weightlifters, carpet weavers, rice farmers, unofficial taxi drivers, motor couriers, and all those oppressed by unstable jobs!

To our exasperated brothers and sisters, who bear the burden of accumulated anger and dissatisfaction within Iranian society, and who are preparing for an uprising to overthrow the regime.

Happy International Workers’ Day! It is a day to reaffirm workers’ commitment to overturn the structures of oppression, exploitation, and the tyranny of religious dictatorship.

International Workers’ Day in Iran is not defined by countless pains, including very low wages, homelessness, permanent job insecurity, lack of insurance, treatment, and medicine, and half-starved children. Instead, it is celebrated for the remarkable achievements and honors of the Iranian working class: the honor of active and combative participation in Iran’s uprisings, the courage of enduring incarceration in Khamenei’s prisons alongside countless prisoners from the 2022 uprising, the sacrifice of many martyrs in this noble cause, and the valor of fighting in the ranks of the Resistance Units.

The execution of four heroic workers – Mohsen Shekari, Majidreza Rahnavard, Mohammad Mehdi Karami, and Mohammad Hosseini – stands as Khamenei’s savage retaliation against the courageous presence of Iranian workers in the uprising.

Khamenei’s Sinister Preparations to Escalate Suppression of Workers

 Khamenei’s words on March 20, where he designated his regime’s slogan for this year as “a leap in production with the participation of the people,” stating, “We must popularize the economy,” signal a new phase of sinister preparations aimed at escalating the suppression and exploitation of workers and laborers.

On the eve of Workers’ Day, he reiterated the same policy, boasting about the regime’s missile and drone attacks, claiming that “the advances in weapons surprised the enemies.”[1] Khamenei’s aim is to usher in a new phase of militarizing Iran’s economy. He seeks to cover the costs of warmongering in the region and expanding his military industries through devouring the country’s income and assets to the maximum extent possible.

According to estimates from international institutions, the clerical regime’s military budget ranked 10th in the world in 2022.[2]

In addition to the substantial annual allocations for military purposes in the public budget, the 7th Development Plan mandates a 5% increase in military expenditures each year. Authorities from the regime’s Ministry of Defense have acknowledged the employment of thousands of companies in the development of missile industries.

Under the deceptive guise of “popularizing the economy,” Khamenei is surreptitiously transferring substantial portions of public assets and state-owned enterprises to the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and foundations under his command. This maneuver will result in another wave of mass closures of factories and manufacturing plants, accompanied by a surge in layoffs disguised as “workforce adjustments.” Additionally, it will lead to the transitioning of the remaining (officially employed) workers to temporary status, further tightening labor control and driving down wages.

Lowering workers’ wages and institutionalizing temporary labor is another major macroeconomic policy of Khamenei. The minimum monthly salary of Iranian workers, which stood at approximately $235 in 2010, has plummeted to around $110.[3] As a result, Iranian workers now find themselves among the cheapest labor forces globally,[4] with a considerable portion not even receiving this meager wage.

According to the Seventh Development Program, which delineates the most important predatory policies of Khamenei:

  • New workers hired are only entitled to half of the minimum wage for three years, and employers have the unilateral right to cancel their contracts during this period (Article 15).
  • Employers are permitted to hire prisoners and disabled individuals at salaries below the minimum wage (Article 16).
  • In line with the expansion of unstable jobs and the trend toward temporary employment, official permanent employment is prohibited. Human resources can only be employed under three- to five-year contracts (Article 271).

At the same time, to eliminate any barriers to reducing wages, Raisi’s government has decided to transfer the responsibility of setting the minimum wage to the parliament. Previously, this decision was made in a tripartite meeting involving representatives from the government, employers, and workers.

A significant portion of workers, particularly municipal workers, do not receive their meager salaries on time, with delays sometimes lasting more than a year.

Another inhumane tactic of the regime is to cut labor costs by disregarding safety conditions, resulting in the loss of workers’ lives. Workplaces have become killing fields, with frequent fatalities and injuries, or prisons for forced labor.

According to the report of the Forensic Medicine Organization, from March 21, 2023, to September 22, 2023, the number of workers who died in work accidents reached 1077.

Enhanced Level of Political and Class Struggle Among Iranian Workers

The mullahs’ conflict with Iranian workers, which affects every aspect of their work, health, and lives, is doubly intense for women. They receive lower wages than men and often endure longer working hours, particularly in small or home workshops. The proportion of women able to secure employment has dwindled to just one-eighth of working-age women. Moreover, the women heading households, whose numbers exceed 6 million, predominantly live below the poverty line.

Despite the brutality of Khamenei, his government, and the Revolutionary Guards in exploitation and suppression, Iranian workers’ protests and strikes persisted throughout the year, often exacting a heavy toll with numerous arrests, expulsions, and suspensions. Every week and every day, Iranian workers took to the streets of cities across Iran, demonstrating their unwavering courage and persistence.

In the face of this widespread upheaval, neither the anti-labor institutions nor the repressive forces, nor the holdings and malls belonging to the IRGC, Basij, and the State Security Force, nor Khamenei’s legendary wealth in the “Executive Headquarters of Khomeini’s Command,” nor the predatory Mostazafan and Astan Quds foundations whose wealth has spiraled out of the blood and suffering of Iran’s laborers, will save the regime from its impasse. Iranian workers have enhanced the level of their political and class struggle during the uprisings of the last few years.

Their struggles have marginalized and isolated the treacherous reformists, boycotted, and exposed the regime’s fraudulent elections, and rejected the remnants of the former dictatorship and its false claimants. The most significant indicator of the advancement of the workers’ struggle is the participation of their vanguard generation in the Resistance Units, dedicated to the overthrow of the entire regime.

As reiterated by the leader of the Iranian Resistance, “The people’s uprising will achieve (the overthrow of the regime) through their Resistance Units and rebellious cities.”[5]

Long live freedom! Salute to Iran’s workers and laborers!

[1] Ali Khamenei, April 24, 2024

[2] International Institute of Strategic Studies, The New York Times, January 18, 2024

[3] Iranian state television, Tehran Network, April 25, 2023

[4] According to the decision of the Supreme Labor Council, the minimum daily wage for workers this year is 2,388,000 Rials. At the current exchange rate, this amount equals approximately $3.7 based on the dollar rate in April 2024. However, when calculated on an hourly basis for an 8-hour workday, this amount equates to only 46 cents per hour.

[5] Message of Massoud Rajavi, the Leader of the Iranian Resistance, March 20, 2024

Maryam Rajavi

President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran

The President-elect of the NCRI for the period to transfer sovereignty to the people of Iran

Read more

Follow Us