Jordania - Striking migrant textile workers deported (2012)

In April, more than 5,000 foreign workers from several Asian countries working in six garment factories in Al Tajamouat Industrial City went on strike over low pay and poor working conditions. Workers had reportedly paid huge sums of money to obtain the initial work contracts in Jordan. However, the employers refused pay rises saying that this would drive them out of business and render them incapable of competing in the international garment industry. Representatives from the labour ministry, the textiles workers union and the Jordan Garments, Accessories, and Textiles Exporters’ Association (JGATE) negotiated with a committee representing the workers. However, the labour office stated that the worker’s strike was illegal as they had not given their employer two weeks’ notice. At the same time the employers stated that the workers demands were illegal because the workers had finished their work contracts and were refusing to return to their home countries.

After almost a month long strike some 3,000 workers including 800 Bangladeshis returned to work after their employers agreed a minimal pay hike. Around 2,000 others continued to strike. However 15 Sri Lankan migrant workers who initiated the strike action were detained and were to be deported back to Sri Lanka.

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