Association decries ‘illegal’ decision to maintain JD260 minimum wage

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(File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Security House Association for Social Protection expressed its “deep disappointment” regarding the decision made on Thursday by the Tripartite Committee for Labor Affairs to keep Jordan’s minimum wage at JD260, calling the decision “illegal”, Khaberni reported.اضافة اعلان

“This decision has disappointed us and the more than 170,000 Jordanian workers who receive wages at or below minimum wage,” the association said in a statement.

Referring to a decision by the committee in February of 2020 to index minimum wage to inflation as of January 2022, the association commented: “It is unfortunate that the government retracted a decision that was taken by a committee empowered by the Labor Law and published in the Official Gazette.”

Due to these official steps, that decision “was assumed to have become binding and enforceable, but it seems that the government, unfortunately, has favored proprietors of funds and businesses at the expense of workers.”

“They are waiting for any increase — even a small one — in their wages, (and the one proposed) is almost negligible, hardly equivalent to the inflation rate recorded in the Kingdom for the year 2022, which reached 4.2 percent,” the statement said, cautioning that the decision to maintain minimum wage at JD260 “would increase the number of poor Jordanian workers and plunge them below the poverty line.”

Calling for reconsideration of ‘retrogressive decision’The association questioned: “Is this reversal in the interest of the country and the national economy, and does increasing poverty among this group of workers serve the productive process? What message does the government want to send to the public in general — and the working class in particular — when it backs down from a decision that was taken in accordance with the provisions of the law?”

The association called on the leaders of the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions, which is represented within the tripartite committee, to state their position on the decision to back down from raising the minimum wage. 

“We call on all leaders of the federation to submit their resignations immediately for their failure to defend the rights of the workers they represent,” the statement read.

“We believe that the retrogressive decision taken by the committee today is illegal, because it did not take into account the rate of inflation when considering the minimum wage as stipulated in Article 52 of the Labor Law,” it continued.

The association also called on the Lower House, human rights organizations, and civil society organizations to “carry out their duty and pressure the government by all democratic and legal means to implement the decision to raise the minimum wage, rejecting the decision of the Tripartite Committee for Labor Affairs issued today”.

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