The Phenix Centre for Economic Studies called for the necessity of “taking urgent legal measures to stop all forms of labour violations practiced on a large scale by hundreds of institutions in the private sector against workers”.
Ahmad Awad, the centre’s director, told The Jordan Times in a phone interview that the centre received complaints against more than 500 institutions up to a few days ago, stressing that the violations extend to hundreds more.
The centre said in a statement that the extent of labour violations due to the necessary measures implemented by the government three weeks ago to protect the nation against the threats of the coronavirus had “exceeded all expectations”.
The centre’s stattement added: “The violations are not only committed by small- and medium-sized business enterprises that do not have significant financial capabilities to cover their workers’ salaries but have rather expanded to include large corporations as well.”
Awad told The Jordan Times that “all worker firings and dismissals that have happened and are currently happening are a clear violation of the Labour Law’s 59th article that states that the private sector is obliged to adhere to public holidays issued by the government”.
He added that institutions are practicing other forms of violations, too, such as forcing workers to apply for unpaid sick leave or unpaid vacations during the two weeks of government-mandated holiday.
The statement reiterated Awad’s point by highlighting that these violations “constitute a challenge to the law and the belittle government decisions and necessary measures”.
Arbitrary dismissals from work, non-payment of workers’ wages for the full month of March, non-payment of workers’ wages for previous months and deducting the official holiday period from the workers’ salaries were among the most noted violations, the centre said.
The centre noted that such violations, which were previously “done in secret and denied by employers when they were confronted about it” have now become publicly announced through various media outlets.
What was mentioned by the president of the Private School Owners Syndicate and the owner of a private hospital about the non-payment of worker wages on TV and radio stations were deemed by the centre as “examples of the challenge to Jordanian laws and government decisions issued under the Defence Law”.
The centre, therefore, stressed “the paramount importance for the government to rapidly address all forms of violations committed against the rights of workers in a large number of private sector enterprises, of all sizes”.
On the other hand, the centre also noted the need to “provide appreciation and respect to business enterprises in the private sector that have not only preserved the rights and interests of their workers, but have made contributions in support of national efforts in the face of this pandemic”.