Dozens Of Oil Workers Detained In Tehran During Weekend Protest

The Free Union of Iranian Workers says 67 workers from the South Pars Gas Company were arrested over the weekend after they came to Tehran from the southern city of Bushehr to hold a protest rally in front of the Oil Ministry building.

The union said the protesting employees were confronted by security and police forces and their mobile phones were confiscated. Some were taken to a detention center.

Holding signs, the South Pars Gas Company workers protested over insufficient wages, the government's failure to implement approved laws, unfair working hours, high taxes, and the low quality of health-care services.

In recent months, pensioners and retired government employees have been holding rallies to protest economic conditions despite a government decision last month to increase some salaries by 10 percent.

Unions and associated groups blame the government for spiraling inflation, high unemployment, and failing to deliver on pledges to significantly increase wages and improve living conditions.

The government's response to the protests has been arrests and attempts to suppress the growing unrest.

Written by Ardeshir Tayebi based on an original story in Persian by RFE/RL's Radio Farda