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Iran's non-payment of ship workers fuels Arab anger

Ahwazi Arabs working in the ship-building industry along the Shatt Al-Arab waterway are growing increasingly frustrated over non-payment of wages.

According the official Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA), ship workers in the port town of Abadan have not been paid for six months and have held a 72 hour strike in protest. The strike was called off after the management agreed to pay the workers. However, according to ILNA, workers have yet to be paid.

The trade union movement in Ahwaz's ship and oil industries are an important base for Ahwazi Arab political mobilisation and has become more militant since Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to power in August 2005. Many trade unionists have links to banned Ahwazi Arab parties seeking equal rights.