Jordania - Migrants abandoned, workers penalised for deliberately provoked strike (2010)

The Israeli owner of the DK Factory in Irbid QIZ (EPZ) abandoned 17 Jordanian and 151 Bengali workers without any pay or benefits. According to the Textile Union, the problem began when a supervisor had beaten a worker on January 22 in a dispute over vacation and financial requests. Ninety-three Bangladeshi workers staged a work stoppage that day in protest. The next day, workers returned to work to find the factory gates closed and to learn that the owner had fled the country. The government took nearly one month to respond to the union’s complaint, finally beginning to provide some food and shelter for the abandoned workers. An investigation revealed that the employer had been preparing to leave the country for several months and had deliberately provoked the workers to strike.
The Textile Union has been following up with the Ministry of Labour about the workers’ situations; 85 of the workers wanted to return home, while 56 had work permits that had just expired. However, the Minister of Labour has announced that the workers are only entitled to 22 days pay and unused vacation leave because the strike was illegal.

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