Jordan Telecom hit with strike action

Jordan Telecom Group has been struck by an open-ended strike as almost 3, 000 of its employees protest for higher wages and improved working conditions.

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By  Ronan Shields Published  May 15, 2007

Jordan Telecom Group has been struck by an open-ended strike as almost 3, 000 of its employees protest for higher wages and improved working conditions. The strike resulted after talks between Jordan Telecom management representatives and the Trade Union of Public Utilities and Free Trade officials broke down on Sunday, May 13. The strike caused partial service disruptions in the kingdom and several branches of the company’s offices have been forced to close as a result of the protest according to local media reports. “The strike is a reflection of the civilised behaviour by the employees,” said Abdul Rahman Aboud, head of the Trade Union of Public Utilities and Free Trade. Both sides have charged the other with causing the rift despite the efforts of the Jordan’s Ministry of Labour. Union representatives have accused Jordan Telecom, the majority of which is owned by France Telecom, of not paying employees adequate overtime payments for extra-contractual work. Rahman Aboud also called for a more equitable distribution of fringe benefits among employees. Additionally, the union said that Jordan Telecom was attempting to “humiliate” a number of senior employees by demoting them to entry-level positions within the company. However, a spokesman for Jordan Telecom countered these allegations, asserting the strike was due to workers seeking a JD50 pay rise, free meals and improved end of service benefits. "We were on the way to reaching an agreement, when the union escalated the situation," he said. "It is a strike only for the sake of striking.” The dispute continues.

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