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Article

19 Sep 2020

Author:
Daoud Kuttab, Arab News

Jordan textile worker ‘had one day off in two years’

Workers’ rights are repeatedly ignored in factories set up and subsidized by the Jordanian government, a nine-month investigation has revealed. Fatemeh, 40, a textile worker in the Anjara factory near the city of Ajloun in the north of the country, said she had taken only a single day off in a two-and-a-half-year period.

She told reporters investigating the rights abuses that she is supporting a family of seven and wanted to avoid deductions to her salary. Other women interviewed said that factory managers refused to give them sick leave, according to Shafa Qoda and Insam Ismael, two reporters supported by the Canadian-based Journalists for Human Rights.

Mohammad Shamma, head of content at the group’s Amman office, told Arab News that the report is part of a series of investigations focusing on workers’ rights. “We have trained local reporters, and once their investigations are completed and approved by our lawyers, we publish them on the independent Jordanian news site ammannet.net,” she said. Shamma said that the subject of workers’ rights has been kept “under wraps for too long.” The reporters, both from Ajloun, investigated working conditions facing 17 female workers at three factories in the area. “We documented cases of annual and sick leave being stopped, forced overtime, as well as health and occupational difficulties in the work environment,” they said.