From ‘Amaleh (Labor) to Kargar (Worker): Recruitment, Work Discipline and Making of the Working Class in the Persian/Iranian Oil Industry

Research abstract: 
The extraction of oil in 1908 and the ensuing construction of an oil refinery, shipping docks and company towns in southwest Persia/Iran opened a new chapter in the nation’s labor history. Enjoying absolute monopoly over the extraction, production and marketing of the oil, the Anglo-Persian/Iranian Oil Company (APOC, AIOC, now British Petroleum––BP) embarked on a massive labor recruitment campaign, drawing its recruits primarily from tribal and village-based laboring poor throughout a region. But, in a region where human needs were few and cheap, it was no easy task to persuade young men to leave their traditional mode of life in exchange for industrial milieu with radically different work patterns. Those who did join the oil industry’s work force were then subjected to labor discipline of an advanced industrial economy, which eventually contributed to the formation of the early clusters of modern Iran’s working class.
Political Science, Economics, Social Studies
Publication (if published):