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APM Terminals threaten to take escalatory measures ‘if promises not fulfilled’

(Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN — The workers operating at APM Terminals (APMT, an international port-operating company), who have been on strike for almost a month, threatened to take escalatory measures if their demand of being hired on longer-term contracts is not met, since under the present arrangement, they could be dismissed any time. اضافة اعلان

Thaer Bostaji, spokesman of the worker’s committee, told Jordan News that their protest will continue until their demands are met, “especially that the management of the container port threatens the workers with dismissal at any time, which means that we completely lack job security”.

He said workers felt that the concerned parties would not move to take serious steps and find real solutions to their grievances, most importantly issue workers with contracts on permanent basis, unless they strike.

Bostaji said the sit-in became the workers’ last resort after many attempts to negotiate with the port administration ended in no result, adding that "we are determined to set up a sit-in tent in front of the House of Representatives and another one in front of the Ministry of Labor until our rights are granted."

So far, he said, "we have only received promises that have not been fulfilled until this moment, and there is no support for us from any party"; worse, “the company's management deals with the strike as if it did not exist”.

A source from the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority told Jordan News that the most prominent demand of the APMT workers is to join the staff of the Aqaba Container Terminal, which they consider as having the best privileges.

ACT Managing Director Khalil Abul Hawa told Jordan News that ACT and APMT are separate companies and "ACT rejects the request of those workers to join the company because it contradicts the human resources management strategy and the company's vision."

He said that employees have the right to claim any labor rights, a right enshrined in the Jordanian labor laws, adding that they had already entered a labor dispute with the Ministry of Labor, a dispute that was to be settled through conciliation, but "we did not reach a solution, and the case was transferred to the Labor Court, which will issue a decision within a period of 30 days. The decision will then be binding on all parties".

Director of Labor Relations at the Ministry of Labor Adnan Al-Dahamsheh confirmed that the labor dispute went through the legal channels, from direct negotiation to the Conciliation Council, where it reached no result, and then was referred through the Ministry of Labor to the Labor Court, where there is an opportunity for employer and workers to reach consensus, but if not, the court will issue a decision that “will be irrevocable and not discriminate against any party”.

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