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244 complaints against employers over minimum wage

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Ministry of Labor spokesperson Mohammed Al-Zyoud said the ministry received 244 labor-related complaints in the first half of this year through the electronic platform Hemaya.اضافة اعلان

The complaints were about employers’ failure to pay the minimum wage, said Zyoud, adding that ministry officials made over 5,200 inspection visits during this period to ensure that the private sector complies with the stipulations of the labor law, including payment of the minimum wage.

Um Khaled, a 43-year-old mother of four, all under 18, had to take up employment five years ago, when her husband left the family, to be able to meet her family’s needs.

“I started working in a sewing workshop near my house in Hashemi Shamali. At first I did not understand the need to join social security, thinking that they would deduct JD20 out of my paycheck. Now, after five years of working, I regret this decision,” she said.

Her starting salary was JD120. Three years later, “after many negotiations, the owners raised my paycheck to JD150”, she added.

“The Ministry of Labor’s inspectors came to the workshop twice before, and whenever they would come, the owners would sit me down in their office, as if one of the customers, and would start showing me designs and talking about measurements and cost,” Um Khaled said.

According to Article 53 of the Labor Law, an employer who pays an employee less than the minimum wage or discriminates between sexes that perform work of equal value shall be fined not less than JD500 and not more than JD1,000; the penalty is doubled whenever the violation is repeated.

Hamada Abu Nijmeh, head of the Worker’s House, highlighted the importance of trade unions in protecting workers’ rights and helping them get their due privileges.

“They are responsible for negotiating with the employers to grant the workers all their rights, including that of being paid the minimum wage, and are also responsible for informing workers about their rights and entitlements,” said Abu Nijmeh.

He added: “We cannot ask for a raise of the minimum wage while we still have workers who receive less, which is an obvious violation of workers’ rights. Solving this issue is essential,” he added.

According to the Jordan News Agency, Petra, some 150,000 active workers registered with the Social Security Corporation (SSC)receive monthly compensation equivalent to the statutory minimum wage of JD260 (about $366).

SSC said of the registered employees who receive the minimum wage, 142,083 are Jordanians and the rest are foreign.

Of the total number of registered active workers in the Kingdom, which stands at 1.437 million, 10.5 percent receive the minimum wage, according to SSC.

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