Iranian employees protest over delayed wages

Haft Tappeh Sugar Mill workers have been on strikes and protesting for almost two years for delayed wages and other grievances. November 15, 2019. (IRNA)
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Updated 02 August 2020

Iranian employees protest over delayed wages

  • The labor strikes took place in southern Iran at Abadan, Parisian and Qeshm oil refineries
  • Sugarcane workers in recent years have been calling for their overdue wages

DUBAI: Iranian workers - mainly in the oil and gas industry - took to the streets demanding payment of overdue wages and the implementation of the job-classification law, local media Radio Farda reported.
The labor strikes took place in southern Iran at Abadan, Parisian and Qeshm oil refineries, and in the Lamerd petrochemical complex, and South Pars oil field.
Workers at the Qeshm oil refinery said their employers do not pay them regularly. One of the refineries’ directors said the workers were demanding raises and had no problem concerning overdue salaries.
Unpaid wages and benefits in Iran in recent years have become a serious problem for employees. It has led to workers protesting across Iran, including the Haft Tappeh Sugarcane Industrial Complex, in the oil-rich Khuzestan province.
Sugarcane workers in recent years have been calling for their overdue wages and demanding the company’s return of ownership to the public sector or the workers themselves.
Workers on Saturday marked their 48th day of strike action outside the complex.
In Iran, people are arrested if they participate in labor protests. Multiple workers of the Haft Tappeh Industrial Complex have been detained and sentenced to long term imprisonment.


Baby George, born amid Beirut blast, is ‘light in the darkness’

Updated 20 min 14 sec ago

Baby George, born amid Beirut blast, is ‘light in the darkness’

  • "George is very special. He is the light in the darkness, a birth in wreckage," Edmond said
  • Seventeen people died in St. George hospital right after the blast and dozens were injured

BEIRUT: Stepping into the delivery room where his wife Emmanuelle was about to give birth, Edmond Khnaisser meant to capture their son's first moments on camera.
Instead, he recorded the instant the biggest blast in Lebanon's history sent whole windows crashing onto his 28 year-old wife's hospital bed.
"I saw death with my own eyes...I started feeling 'is it over?' I was looking around and at the ceiling, just waiting for it to fall on us," Emmanuelle said, recollecting the direct aftermath of the massive blast that injured 6000 and killed more than 170 people in Beirut on Aug. 4.
Brushing off blood and shattered glass, medical staff instinctively carried Emmanuelle into the corridor, fearing another explosion could follow.
About to faint and shaken to the core, Emmanuelle said she knew she had to focus on giving birth.
"He has to come to life and I have to be very strong," she told herself.

Hospital staff works using torches while a baby named George is delivered, as the blast wave hit the hospital in Beirut, Lebanon August 4, 2020 in this picture obtained from social media. (Reuters)


Right after the blast, Stephanie Yacoub, chief resident of obstetrics and gynecology at St. George Hospital University Medical Center, had run out the room to help an injured nurse.
But it was too late and the nurse died. Yacoub hurried back to Emmanuelle straight away to help her give birth, along with Professor Elie Anastasiades and a team of medics.
"There was no electricity and the sun was starting to set, so we knew we had to get this done as soon as possible. And with the use of people's phone lights, he came into the world," she told Reuters a week after the blast.
Seventeen people died in St. George hospital right after the blast and dozens were injured, including Edmond Khnaisser’s mother, who suffered six broken ribs and a punctured lung.
Running back and forth between his wife and his mother, Khnaisser said he had one objective in mind, to get his new son George to safety.
As they got into strangers’ cars and out of the blast’s perimeter, the extent of the destruction started to sink in.
They eventually made it to a hospital right outside of the capital where George was finally bathed and cleaned.
"George is very special. He is the light in the darkness, a birth in wreckage," Edmond said, showing pictures of his son on the Instagram page he created for the boy they now call "miracle" baby George.