Iran Daily: Truckers’ Strike Moving Into 3rd Week

A truck in the northern Iranian city of Qazvin, May 28, 2018: “We are protesting the unprecedented high prices for spare parts and tires"

A strike by Iran’s truck drivers is expanding, highlighting protests among workers across the country over economic conditions.

The strike began on May 22 over stagnant wages and rising costs for insurance, road tolls, commissions, repairs, and spare parts. Video clips are now circulating across social media of large numbers of trucks left by striking drivers in Isfahan, Kermanshah, and Razavi Khorasan Provinces.

From Kangavar in Kermanshah Province in western Iran:

The idling of gasoline tankers has caused shortages at gas stations in some parts of the country, while port terminals are empty — from Bandar Abbas in southern Iran:

Striking truckers say the Government has not responded to demands for higher wages for transporting cargo. Instead, authorities have sent text messages threatening to revoke drivers’ licenses unless the stoppends.

A report on May 24 by the Iranian Labor News Agency, quoting an official of the Roads and Urban Development Ministry, said fees to truckers will be raised by an average of 15%. However, there is no confirmation of implementation.

International truckers unions have expressed support for the strikers:

Demonstrations spread across Iran in January over political and economic concerns, amid rising youth unemployment, a historically-low currency, mismanagement, and US sanctions. While the regime was able to check the movement, protests have continued among groups such as teachers and farmers, as well as over specific issues such as the redrawing of city boundaries.

Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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