All Arrested Bafgh Miners Released!

All workers of the Bafgh iron ore mine have now been released and plans to privatise the mine have been shelved.

The last six of the jailed miners were freed on September 3. They were all arrested on August 19 during the strike and protests of 5000 workers against plans to privatise the mine.

The workers’ protests were against the handing over of 71.5% of the mine’s shares to the Khuzestan Fulad (steel) pension fund. Their demands also included the unconditional release of arrested workers, resignation of the mine’s general manager, cancelling the handover of 28.5% of the mine’s shares to the Khuzestan Fulad pension fund and handing over 15% of the shares to Bafgh city.

The release of these miners on the 16th day of their strike is therefore a clear victory, as many of their demands also seem to have been met. It has now been reported that the mine’s privatisation has been cancelled and 15% of the shares will be handed over to Bafgh city within four months.

An important factor in this struggle has been that throughout the strike and protests in the city hundreds of Bafgh’s residents have joined the miners and there has been solid and widespread support and solidarity for the miners.

Production at the iron ore mine in Yazd Province, central Iran, has now resumed.

Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network fully supports the strikes and struggles of Bafgh mine workers against privatisation and the worsening of their pay and conditions. IWSN utterly condemns the Iranian regime’s treatment of the Bafgh mine workers and demands the immediate and unconditional release of all arrested miners.

4 September 2014