Last week, a flier calling on contract workers to go on a hunger strike was distributed at the Isfahan Steel Complex.
Contract workers have suffered wage and benefit cuts since they became directly contracted by the factory. Currently, their wages and benefits are significantly below those of the company’s regular workers.
According to the Ad Hoc Council of Isfahan Steel Workers, following the distribution of the hunger strike flyer, the director made the tour of the plant and promised the unhappy workers that he would address their demands before the new year (March 21, 2010).
Meanwhile, the factory’s security made their own tour of the workshops, threatened the workers and told them their wages are not supposed to be equal to those of the regular workers of the factory.
Security officials asked the workers in charge of receiving and distribution of factory meals to identify the workers who were on hunger strike. The employees in charge of the locker rooms where the flyer had been distributed were summoned to the security office.
Following the promises made by the director, the situation has become more calm, and contract workers are waiting to see the outcome of his actions.
The contract workers, who were previously employed by private contractors, had high hopes when they were hired by the factory [on a contract basis], but most of them have suffered between 30 to 100 dollar wage reductions, and their overtime allowance has been limited to 45 hours. Their previous employers did not impose a limit on the number of overtime hours.