Six day sit-in by 4,000 workers at Social Welfare Hospital of Kashan compelled mullahs to retreat

The staff of the Social Welfare Hospital in Kashan (200 km south of Tehran) stopped work last Wednesday and staged a sit-in in the courtyard of the hospital to protest the regime's decision to transfer the management of this hospital to the Ministry of Health and Medical Care. The workers chanted slogans denouncing the repressive policies of the clerical regime.

The next day, workers from other factories in Kashan joined them and the number of participants in the sit-in gradually swelled to 4,000. Many industrial units in this city were almost shut down as the result.

Had the management of this hospital been transferred, many of the workers' medical exemptions were going to be annulled and the workers or Kashan who were covered by the Social Welfare Organization had to pay much higher fees in order to receive medical services.

The State Security Force and the Revolutionary Guards Corps had surrounded the area, but were fearful of angry reaction by the workers and their supporters. They, therefore, were unable to disperse the crowd and disrupt the gathering.

Concerned about the spread of this protest and the closure of all the factories in Kashan, the clerical regime yesterday announced via the local radio and television that it will not transfer the management of the Social Welfare Hospital to the Ministry of Health and Medical Care.

Kashan is one of the largest centers of Iran's textile and carpet industries.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
January 5, 1999

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