Jordan

The Solidarity Center supports initiatives to protect the rights of all workers in Jordan, through worksite mobilization and organization, and through national advocacy campaigns.

Jordan’s economic development has failed to halt eroding living conditions for most Jordanian workers. The cost of living continues to rise, with no commensurate rise in wages. The gap between the very wealthy and the poor is increasingly visible, both inside and outside the capital city of Amman. Many of Jordan’s trade unionists have a long history of struggling for worker rights, and despite restrictions on freedom of association, workers continue to form unions. In April 2013, Jordanian workers established the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Jordan (FITU).

The Solidarity Center encourages and supports Jordanian unions in their efforts to change the nation’s labor law to allow for greater union freedom. Public-sector workers are forbidden to form unions and civil servants do not have collective bargaining rights. Jordanian unions are expected to obtain permission from the government before a strike takes place.

Many migrant workers from Egypt and Syria are employed in the Jordanian construction and agriculture sectors. In the textile factories of the Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZs), men and women from South Asia and Southeast Asia make up much of the workforce. In 2010, lawmakers passed legislation allowing migrant workers to join unions, vote in union elections, and participate in enterprise level worker committees. While many non-Jordanian workers still labor in extremely vulnerable and precarious positions, especially domestic workers, the integration of migrant workers in unions is an important step to promote the full rights of all workers, including citizen workers.

The Solidarity Center report, Justice for All: The Struggle for Worker Rights in Jordan, explores how Jordan can make a crucial commitment to follow a path toward democracy and social justice that will give working people a chance to share in the prosperity they help create. These efforts have facilitated important advances for Jordanian unions, but substantial work remains.