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Workers protest unpaid wages at sugar cane mill in Ahvaz, again

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Workers at the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Mill in Ahvaz, southwest Iran, have continued their protests for the fifth consecutive day as they have not been paid since August.

The workers also demanded answers regarding the future of the industrial complex.

Moreover, they say that their wages and benefits have been cut since privatization.

On Nov. 8, state-run Iran Labor News Agency (ILNA) reported that the names of many of the complex's shareholders, and members of its board of directors, are on an official list of those who have violated currency exchange regulations.

The company’s largest shareholder and director general is believed to have either fled Iran or been detained by the authorities for violating the new regulations on foreign exchange transactions.

The Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Mill was built on a 2-hectare area nearly half a century ago during the reign of last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. It is the only factory of its kind in Iran. The mill was lucrative before it was sold to the private sector in 2015.

The privatized company accrued large debts of over $90 million in 2017. These debts were mostly to public utilities and tax authorities.

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