Iran Khodro shuts down amidst labour protests
Workers protests to harsh working conditions continued for days after Tuesday's fatal accident at Iran Khodro car manufacturing plant that killed four and injured 13 according to official reports.
The management of the largest car manufacturing company in Iran announced today that the plant is closed today Friday and will continue to close on Fridays on a weekly basis. ILNA reports.
According to Iranian labour laws, workers should get Fridays and other statutory holidays off work. However, labour activists maintain that in the past years, Iran Khodro has shut down only for a handful of public holidays.
Some reports also indicate that Iran Khodro workers have staged a sit-in inside the plant.
A workers blog indicates: “The plant’s atmosphere is highly volatile. The protesting workers who believe forced overtime was responsible for the fatal accident have refused to leave the plant and are still protesting inside the factory premises.”
The blog goes on to add that the management has announced the closure of the plant for a collective day of mourning, but the report contends that the closure is more a strategy to stop other workers from joining the protesters.
The remains of the dead workers have not been surrendered to their families yet; the report says.
Several Iranian labour organizations have issued statements to condemn the accident at Iran Khodro and announce their support for the workers.
While the company attributes the accident to careless driving of a dump truck contractor who collided with workers entering the plant for their night shift, workers claim forced overtime and lack of safety provisions at the plant were responsible for the deaths.