Revisiting Labor Activism in Iran: Some Notes on the Vatan Factory Strike in 1931


INTERNATIONAL LABOR AND WORKING-CLASS HISTORY, vol.93, pp.201-220, 2018 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 93
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/s014754791700031x
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.201-220


This article discusses the discursive practices of Iranian workers between 1921 and 1941, with a particular focus on the Vatan Factory strike, which took place in Isfahan in May 1931. Initially, the article provides a brief background on the industrialization process of the era for a better contextualization of the factory and the strike under study. Then, it discusses Iranian workers' self-perceptions and the discursive practices and strategies they used in their engagement with the ruling classes, by utilizing the petitions they sent to various authorities. And finally, it elaborates on the Vatan Factory strike in order to gain a better understanding of workers' self-representations and the changing dynamics between them and the official authorities. In the main, this article suggests that notwithstanding the confrontational nature of this particular labor action, striking workers' discursive engagement was in conformity with the developing labor discourse at large.