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Activists call for worker protections amid plan to abolish Labour Ministry

By Maria Weldali - Aug 13,2022 - Last updated at Aug 13,2022

AMMAN—Expressing their disapproval for the government’s recent decisions and plans to abolish the Ministry of Labour, Jordanian activists and experts from different backgrounds undertook digital activism on Thursday.

“Hashtag activism certainly helps gain media attention and brings about positive change,” Jordanian activist Reem Masada told The Jordan Times on Saturday.

The hashtag that was used on Thursday was in the Arabic language, and translates to “No to abolishing the Labour Ministry”, according to Masada.

On Twitter, advocate and human rights defender Hala Ahed wrote: “The government will not abandon its duties related to regulating the labour market, which can be made a task of other ministries; however, with the cancellation of the Labour Ministry, it will give up the protection of labour rights.”

Director of the Phenix Centre for Economics and Informatics Studies (PCEIS), Ahmad Awad, tweeted that such decision would increase poverty rates locally, and would deepen economic inequality.

He also added in a statement made available to The Jordan Times that “the consequences of taking such decision will be catastrophic on all labour market parties…”

Secretary General of the Jordanian National Commission for Women’s Affairs (JNCW), Salma Al Nims, said in a statement made available to The Jordan Times that she does not believe the decision to abolish the Ministry of Labour is right, due to its status as a vital government department in the regulation of the labour market and the protection of workers.

 “Instead of dismantling this institution [the Ministry of Labour], it would be worthwhile to improve its performance…,” she added.

The dissolution of the Labour Ministry does not eradicate unemployment. Rather, it removes protections from the working class, said economist Husam Ayesh in a statement made available to The Jordan Times.

The dissolution of the Labour Ministry does not respect the principles and objectives of the ministry’s existence and role in tackling labour market issues, according to the Social Protection Observatory (SPO).

“Removing the ministry runs counter to having a social dialogue approach...,” said the SPO on Twitter.


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