Iranian factory workers in northwestern Iran have staged a protest against mismanagement of a large industrial plant, saying the problem has brought the major local employer to the brink of closure. In a report published Thursday, Iran's state-run ILNA news agency said the protesting workers in the city of Tabriz urged authorities to rescue the plant that produces combine harvesters used to harvest crops.
ILNA said one of its reporters learned that only about 40 workers remained at
the factory, whose capacity of 600 workers once made it a major employer.
The news agency quotes the protesters as saying that if Iranian authorities continued to ignore their grievances about mismanagement, the plant would close, and the remaining workers would be laid off.
ILNA said one of the workers' main grievances concerns wages, which they said have dropped to $120 a month. It said the workers want the factory to be revived and employment maintained.
Tabriz is a hub of heavy industries, including the manufacture of vehicles, machine tools, refineries, pharmaceuticals, leather goods and carpets.
Iran has seen frequent public protests since December, with dozens to hundreds of people denouncing business leaders and local and national officials they accuse of mismanagement and oppression.
This report was produced in collaboration with VOA's Persian Service.
About the author: Michael Lipin covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin
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