Truckers reject LTRC agreements, continue strike

(Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Owners and drivers of trucks said on Tuesday that they will continue the strike they started a few days ago to protest the increase in fuel prices, specifically diesel, asserting their rejection of the agreement reached Monday by the Land Transport Regulatory Commission (LTRC) and the Jordanian Truck Owners Association.اضافة اعلان

Drivers and owners of trucks interviewed by Jordan News also refuted the association’s recent announcement that an agreement had been reached and that work would resume Tuesday. They stressed that the association does not represent them and that their strike will continue until their demands are met.

Obaidah Abul Adas, who has been a truck driver for nearly two decades, told Jordan News that the most significant demand is “to reduce fuel prices and raise transportation fees, as per the agreement that was signed in June”.

According to him, the strike “will continue until the demand for higher wages is met”, from Ramtha to Aqaba.

“I used to make some 30 percent profit on one shipment; with the rise in diesel prices, the profit decreased to 10 percent,” he added.

Abul Adas said that “many promises were made to us, but they were never fulfilled”, and stressed that all truck drivers “suffer and incur heavy losses”.

Another man, who has worked as a truck driver in Aqaba for 25 years and asked to be identified as Abu Rakan, told Jordan News that “our profits have declined significantly”.

“Even if wages were to grow by JD50, this would not solve the problem. ... The high price of diesel constitutes a serious challenge for us,” he stressed.

LTRC spokesperson Abla Weshah told Jordan News that the issue “is still under discussion” and that “a committee will be formed”. She expressed her hope that a resolution was found so that the truckers would return to work.

The head of Jordanian Truck Owners Association, Mohammad Khair Al-Dawood, said that truckers’ wages will be determined “according to a guiding regulation issued by the LTRC, and will follow the transport wages regulation in force and approved by the Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Supply”.

He added that any new wages will be calculated according to the fuel price, “whether it increases or decreases”, starting with the beginning of the next year.

According to the Jordan News Agency, Petra, Dawood also said that an agreement, slated to be struck Tuesday, stipulated adding JD1.5 to the fees levied for transporting phosphate, potash, and sulfur.

According to the agreement, he said, the price of shipping containers weighing up to 25 tonnes and working on the Desert Highway between Amman and Aqaba will be raised to JD500 from JD448.

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