Trade unions decry proposal to abolish Labor Ministry

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — The General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions said it rejects the Public Sector Modernization Committee’s proposal to abolish the Ministry of Labor and reassign its responsibilities to other ministries, according to Amman Net.اضافة اعلان

In a press statement received by the Jordan Labor Observatory, the federation said that Jordanian workers have been asking for years to have a sovereign Labor Ministry, and now the government is seeking to do otherwise through unilateral decisions taken without consulting with stakeholders.

The federation said that the plan to abolish the Labor Ministry is arbitrary, and an approach to turn Jordan into an open market with no restrictions on employers and the private sector, while leaving workers without protections or job stability. It said that the decision will lead to laying off thousands of workers, which will raise the unemployment rate to more than 26 percent.

The federation also said that assigning the ministry’s responsibilities to different government bodies that will not be able to carry out the tasks is bound to lead to confusion and be of no help to workers.

The federation cautioned that the labor minister is responsible for enforcing the Labor Law, and by abolishing his role, labor issues will be left without a point of reference, which will lead to legal pitfalls.

According to the statement, the dissolution of the Labor Ministry will impact the minimum wage, wage policies, the Tripartite Committee for Labor Affairs, working hours, official holidays, annual, sick and maternity leaves, and result in the absence of inspection and oversight, vocational training, and collective bargaining.

The unexpected layoffs resulting from the decision will also negatively affect the Social Security Corporation, it added.

The federation stressed that the abolition of the Labor Ministry will weaken labor unions, which are the umbrella for collective bargaining, especially since Jordan has no law that regulates union work.

The federation called for the immediate retraction of the proposal, because of its prejudice to workers and to the labor market.

The Public Sector Modernization Committee, consisting of several ministers and two representatives from the private sector, announced its recommendations, which have not been approved yet by the government. Its most prominent recommendation was abolishing the Labor Ministry and distributing its tasks to the ministries of interior, industry, and education.

The Labor Ministry includes 19 directorates and units within the ministry, 19 directorates in all governorates, and 12 labor offices.

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