May 27, 2021
Hundreds of employees in Iran’s oil and gas industry protested on Wednesday against Petroleum Minister Bijan Zanganeh, demanding higher pay.
Employees gathered in Tehran outside parliament as well as in Ahvaz, capital of the oil-producing Khuzestan province chanting slogans against lack of proper pay amid sky-rocketing inflation.
Employees of the natural gas industry in Asalouyeh, southern Iran also launched their own protests, according to photos and videos circulating on social media.
In most cases the protesters were employees of the state-owned National Iranian Oil Company, which historically has been one of the top employers in the country. There are reports of protests in Gachsaran, Mahshahr, Behregan and at an oil rig in the Persian Gulf.
In Esfahan, central Iran workers in the poultry transport sector protested for lack of work, as chicken meat has become expensive, and its consumption has declined.
US sanctions imposed by former US President Donald Trump in 2018 has plunged Iran into a serious economic crisis, with general inflation at 50 percent and food prices rising more than 60 percent according to official reports.
Regular labor protests and strikes have been going on since 2017 as many semi-private and private companies have been unable or unwilling to pay salaries on time and laying off wokers.