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Jordan: Private sector workers lead rising numbers of protests for decent working conditions in 2016

Author: Hana Namrouqa, Jordan Times, Published on: 11 April 2017

"Labour protests rise by 22% in 2016 — report" 

Labour protests increased by 22 per cent last year, a rise which reflects the gravity of Jordan's socioeconomic crisis, a new report  by the Phenix Centre for Economic and Informatics Studies [suggests]...Jordan's labour market is still suffering from major gaps...sufficient and decent job opportunities, the provision of social protection for workers, allowing all workers the right to form and join trade unions, and protecting marginalised groups in the labour market, such as women, children and people with disabilities. Private sector workers organised the majority of labour protests in 2016...Ahmad Awad, Director of the Phenix Centre...said..."There are three main reasons why the protests in the public sector dropped last year; first, the government has restructured and raised employees' salaries; second, working conditions in the public sector improved with regards to overtime, holidays and social security; ...third...the government pressures its employees to prevent them from organising or participating in protests"...Meanwhile, the number of labour protests organised by the private sector increased last year due to receding decent working conditions, low salaries and weak social protection...Two main tools can help lift working conditions in the private sector, he argued. "The government should increase the efficiency and the number of Labour Ministry inspectors...[and] allow all workers to form and join trade unions, he said, noting that unions can assist the government in safeguarding workers' rights and improving working conditions...

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