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Fertiliser company employees protest overdue salaries

By Sawsan Tabazah - Nov 27,2016 - Last updated at Nov 27,2016

AMMAN — Around 300 employees of the Jordan Abyad Fertilizers & Chemicals Company (JAFCCO) picketed the Ministry of Labour on Sunday to protest over “three-month-overdue salaries and lack of health insurance”. 

JAFCCO, based in Karak’s Abyad area, is owned by three main partners: a Bahraini investor that owns around 62 per cent, the Jordan Phosphate Mines Company (22 per cent) and the Arab Mining Company (12 per cent), according to the ministry’s labour relations director, Adnan Dahamsheh. 

The seven-year-old company suffers technical and financial issues, an excess of workers and a crisis among the partners, Dahamsheh told The Jordan Times. 

The partners met on Sunday to find solutions and a meeting between the Bahraini investor and the minister of labour will take place soon, the official noted. 

“When the workers heard about the meeting, they decided to protest to put pressure on members of the board,” he said. 

Sunday’s protest was the fifth by the company’s employees whether in front of the company’s headquarters or the ministry, according to Mohammad Hajaya, the vice president of the General Union of Mine Workers.

The delay in salaries threatens 380 employees and their families’ livelihoods, as many of them have to pay back loans and could end up in jail if they fail to do so, Hajaya told The Jordan Times. 

A chemist at the JAFCCO and the workers’ representative, Mohammad Bdeirat, said that the factory stopped working five months ago due to the problems between the partners.

The protesting workers are from Karak, Aqaba, Maan, Tafileh and Irbid, he added.

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