UNRWA services at standstill as workers go on general strike

A student looks out of a window at a closed UNRWA school in Amman. (Photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — UNRWA services in all areas of operation were in a state of complete paralysis on Monday as the organization’s workers went on strike, threatening that this strike was just a warning sign, and that if their demands were not met an open strike would take place on Thursday. اضافة اعلان

UNRWA Workers Union in Jordan earlier announced that November 29 would be a full-fledged strike, whereby services would be halted, and the doors of schools and health centers would not be opened.

Head of UNRWA Workers Union, Riyad Zygan said health workers, students, teachers, and cleaners stayed home as services were suspended, describing cases of piled waste and sick people not being able to find medical attention, noting that Monday was chosen to coincide with the day of solidarity with the Palestinian people.

The union is demanding to cancel the imposed exceptional leave without pay, in addition to other demands related wages, bonuses, recruitment, and end of service compensation.

Mustafa Abu Jaber, a social activist in Al-Baqaa camp — with a population of 170,000, of which 150,000 are Palestinian refugees — described the situation at the camps as though there was a public safety hazard, “as garbage bags were piled in alleys,” but that the camp residents stand with the workers and teachers in their demands, despite the fact that residents rely on UNRWA services, acknowledging a recent decline in the standard of some services.

The strike was observed at schools and centers operating under UNRWA umbrella in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. 

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