According to ILNA (Iranian Labour News Agency), a group of Ahwazi Arab workers in Bandar Imam Petrochemical along with a number of young job seekers gathered on Wednesday in front of the governor of the city to protest against unemployment in Ma’shour (Mahshahr) region.
Around 100 ahwazi demonstrators voiced their main demands which are job creation in the region and job for indigenous young people in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries.
According to the protesters, despite several Petrochemical Company in Ma’shour, a large number of indigenous youth in the city are unemployed and are forced to look for job oppoutunity elsewhere in the country.
Demonstrators say the duty of the local authorities and governors is to codify executive regulations obliging employers to recruit indigenous forces.
The protesters also held up banners with messages that read: “job opportunities must be offered to local people.”
“We demand job security. Temporary contracts must be terminated.”
“Employment, security and sustenance are our inalienable rights.”
It was stated many Ahwazi Arab workers who toil for 15 hours a day are still unable to earn enough to feed their families.
In recent years, a massive number of none-Arab migrants; a quarter-million in total, are being deliberately resettled in Al-Ahwaz region by the regime as part of a policy to change its demographic composition in favor of Persians. Meanwhile, the indigenous Arabs are left in conditions of destitution, with massive unemployment, even though their region is the home of over 90 percent of the oil and gas wealth claimed by the Tehran regime.
The Al-Ahwaz region has tremendous opportunities for employment. There are several large companies in various Ahwazi areas, and these could provide decent jobs for the local people. Unfortunately, a significant number of positions in these companies is reserved for non-indigenous workers, leaving thousands of Ahwazi young men no other option than to open their voices in protest, to challenge the lack of fair employment opportunities.
According to the regime official statistics, the overall unemployment rate among Ahwazi people stood at 40 % however the Ahwazi labour activists claim it is higher than 50% for Ahwazi men and 80% for Ahwazi women who face double oppression for both their race and their gender.
For years, Iran has been oppressing the Ahwazi Arab people through intimidation, mass arrests, torture, starvation, denial of employment, and the mass execution of Ahwazi civilians.
This history includes a history of exploitation of the wealth and natural resources of Ahwaz, in particular, the natural gas and oil that are being extracted without discernible economic benefit for the Ahwazi Arab people. The Iranian state’s policies have crippled the majority of the Ahwazi Arab population. An estimated 90 percent of Ahwazi households live below the poverty line, even as they live on a sea of oil and gas, and mineral resources that have been exploited and stolen since 1925.