Jordania - Day rate workers arrested for holding a protest – union rights denied (2011)

Muhammad al-Sunaid and Ahmad al-Luwanisa, leaders of the Committee of Day Labourers at Government Offices, gathered with 30 other workers on daily contracts on 10 May to hold a protest over their recent dismissal by the Ministry of Agriculture. The two were then arrested and charged with holding an unlawful gathering and defaming and insulting a public official. Sunaid had been a day labourer at the Ministry for over 15 years. Regulations state that if a worker works for over three months as a worker is paid on a daily basis, he will be covered by the labour law, and the government had promised that such labourers would be made permanent government employees. However, despite promises many day workers have been dismissed recently with no benefits, sick pay or pension. The two workers were charged by a special state security court.

According to reports, Sunaid co-founded the Committee of Day Labourers in 2006. The 12 committee members represent the interests of 13,000 day workers and are lobbying the government for full employment as civil servants instead of their precarious situation as day labourers. Sunaid reportedly said that the Labor Ministry denied the committee status as a union, since they were not privately employed, but employed by the government.

In 2007, the government finally agreed to convert the job status to civil service in three groups of labourers, the final one to be converted in 2010. However, the present government has not implemented this agreement, and has instead fired many day-workers as the economic climate has worsened.

© ITUC-CSI-IGB 2013 | | Contact Design by - maps: jVectorMap