Thursday, March 16, 2006

In Iran workers and their families greet the New Year in tattered clothes and hungry stomachs

Iran Press News: Translation by Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi.
After an entire year of constant protesting, hearing never-ending, unfulfilled and misleading promises from various governmental authorities and the so-called "justice-seeking" president, hundreds of workers from the Sangrood mines (Province of Gilan), have remained unpaid for 13 months and will ring in Norouz* in tattered clothes and hungry stomachs. READ MORE

According to the workers group reporter from the regime-run news agency, ILNA, the workers, who were promised at least 4 months back pay by the governor of Gilan and the reopening of the mines, have been deceived once again; apparently mismanagement is once again the cause for the closing of the mines and the likelihood of the workers receiving any of their pay is now faded.

The workers criticized the publicity surrounding Ahmadinejad's thoughtfulness and justice-advocating nature, saying: "Time and time again we gathered in front of the president's offices and the ministry of industries, begging the authorities to help us and each time we were sent home empty-handed yet with promises without guarantees; Norouz is approaching and another new year will be spent, hanging our heads in shame in front of our hungry families. Now we understand just how thoughtful and justice-advocating Mr. Ahmadinejad really is. Our group of workers and their families are more than 3000 people; here we are at the end of the year in an impoverished home. We have nothing more to sell to even buy a piece of bread with. A hundred and fifty rural families have lost their main source of income; the mine was the largest employer of workers in the Omarloui-Roudbar area and with it's closing poverty and destitution has become rampant."

*Norouz is the traditional Iranian festival of spring which starts at the exact moment of the Vernal Equinox, the moment winter ends and spring officially begins. It is considered as the New Year among Persian. The name comes from Avestan for "new day". It is celebrated on or near the 21st of March. Norouz has been celebrated for at least 3000 years and is deeply rooted in the rituals and traditions of Zoroastrianism. Today, this festival is celebrated in Iran, Iraq, India, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan as well as members of the Bahaii faith.