The Blue Movement?
03 Mar 2011 04:05
According to one long, white banner, "The workers of Parsilon are hungry." Parsilon, known as the "old wound" (zakhmeh kohneh) of Lorestan's industrial base, was once one of the largest textile manufacturers in the country. The torrent of cheap Chinese imports has been a major contributor to its decline. The plant, now $70 million in debt, was already facing dire problems at the beginning of Ahmadinejad's first term in 2005 -- it laid off more than 1,000 workers the following year. In 2010, the factory was shut down for ten months.
Reza Rahimi Nasab, who represents Khorramabad -- Lorestan's capital -- in the Majles (parliament), said late last year that the provincial unemployment rate had reached 40 percent. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's representative in the province, Hojatoleslam Seyyed Ahmad Miremadi, seemed to acknowledge the dearth of jobs on Tuesday. "The main issue facing the people of Lorestan is unemployment," he said. Though Miremadi refrained from providing any official count of the jobless, he recommended the launch of public works projects, according to Mehr News, including the construction of 800 mosques and 15 seminaries.
This economic discontent may stir into a wave of blue-collar protests, some analysts speculate.
Fars News Agency didn't escape unscathed either. White protest sign reads, "We're hungry."
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