Labor observatory criticizes gov’t reversal on minimum wage increase

labor labour
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Jordanian Labor Observatory (JLO) strongly criticized the government's decision to reverse the Tripartite Committee for Labor Affairs' plans to automatically raise the minimum wage based on inflation rates announced by the Department of Statistics. اضافة اعلان

The observatory stated that the Tripartite Committee for Labor Affairs decision three years prior is binding upon the government and that neglecting to carry out said resolution constitutes a dereliction of its duty to safeguard the welfare of disadvantaged laborers, according to AmmanNet. 

According to the observatory, the current minimum wage in Jordan (JD260) is roughly equivalent to half of the poverty threshold for a typical household, which before the COVID-19 pandemic was JD480 per month. 

This value has risen in recent years as a result of increasing inflation rates, it added. 

In January 2020, the Tripartite Committee for Labor Affairs decided to raise the minimum wage from JD220 to JD260 per month. The plan was to implement the increase at the beginning of 2021 and to automatically raise it in accordance with inflation rates starting in 2022. 

However, the committee postponed the implementation to 2023, to be reviewed for the following three years.

'Unlawful'The JLO confirmed that the State Social Security Corporation's (SSC) decision to establish a new minimum wage, which incorporates inflation projections for 2022, was lawful and correct. 

The SSC announced Monday that the minimum wage would be increased to JD271 from JD260. 

Shortly after, Minister of Labor Youssef Al-Shamali said that he did not expect the minimum wage to increase this year or next year, saying it poses a "burden" in the private and public sectors. 

The committee, in response, stated the government's reversal of this decision made by the Tripartite Commission on Labor is "illegal and represents a disregard for the well-being of poor workers". 

This decision, it said, is contrary to the government's vision for economic modernization, which includes improving the quality of life for citizens. 

"Increasing wage levels is a crucial aspect of achieving this goal," the JLO added.

'Not socially oriented' The JLO further warned that this decision and others like it are not socially oriented and will expand poverty, exacerbate social and economic disparities, impede citizens' access to economic and social human rights, and threaten national stability on multiple fronts. 

It urged the government to reverse this recent decision and abide by the recommendation to increase the minimum wage, as well as to re-evaluate its overall wage policy with the aim of increasing it.

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