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Restrictions under pandemic posed challenges to QIZ factories

Workers are seen at a garment factory in Jordan in this undated photo. (Photo: Jordan News)
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Logistical impediments and restrictions in recruiting migrant workers during the COVID-19 pandemic posed ‘’’significant pressure’’ on hiring factories, prompting them to overwork their laborers, according to a periodic report by Better Work program on factories.اضافة اعلان

The program, implemented by the International Labor Organization in Jordan, said factories made laborers ‘’work long hours’’, Al-Ghad News reported.

The report’s outcome, announced Tuesday, was based on an evaluation of 91 factories in Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZ) in Jordan. The program noted difficulties in the hiring process, training schedules and management teams, while many factories failed to implement plans to improve conditions for their workers.

According to the report, the pandemic and relevant emergency laws prompted a state of ‘’non-compliance’’.

Two factories with previous records of non-compliance, specifically related to sexual harassment, have not improved their status. Surveys for three years showed concern of sexual harassment among 1 in 5 workers.

With regard to working conditions, the report said it monitored other aspects, such as benefits offered to migrant workers, including overtime, annual and sick leave, food and housing payments. ‘’Non-compliance was relatively low last year,’’ the report said.

Like in previous years, non-compliance in the occupational safety and health aspects in factories recorded the highest rates, the report maintained. But it added, there was improvement issues related to labor housing, employment protection, and welfare.

As for forced labor, the report said the situation improved in many factories across Jordan in the last 10 years, although several violations were reported last year. That included unspecified ‘’coercive practices’’ in 3 factories, the confiscation of workers’ passports by a factory management, the prohibition of migrant workers to leave the QIZ, and denying workers the right to terminate employment contracts.


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