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‘Press syndicate firmly against restructuring Ad-Dustour’

By JT - Apr 09,2015 - Last updated at Apr 09,2015

AMMAN — The Jordan Press Association (JPA) on Thursday reiterated its absolute rejection of any restructuring plans for Ad-Dustour newspaper that entail dismissing journalists at the Arabic daily.

In a statement, the JPA council said consecutive managements of Ad-Dustour always resort to the easiest solutions at the expense of journalists who are not to blame for the daily’s accumulated economic woes.

The council also said that the Kingdom’s oldest newspaper has previously dismissed more than 200 of its staff, but its problems persist. 

The council called for more sustainable solutions other than restructuring.

Also in the statement, a copy of which was made available to The Jordan Times, the JPA noted that workers’ rights have to be the priority at all times, describing as “unfair” any solution at the expense of journalists’ source of income.

Emphasising the importance of Ad-Dustour, which is published by the Jordan Press and Publishing Company, the council urged the government to intervene to help the newspaper recover and continue its national role.

The JPA also stressed the importance of offering incentives to workers at the newspaper who are voluntarily quitting their positions in recognition of Ad-Dustour’s financial troubles.

Earlier this week, the daily’s chairman and five of its board members resigned.

Established in 1967, the newspaper has around 400 employees.

Journalists at the paper say they have not received their salaries for the past four months.

Ad-Dustour daily generates some JD8 million annually, Awni Daoud, managing editor of the paper’s economic section, told The Jordan Times in previous remarks.

The state-owned Social Security Investment Fund owns nearly 30 per cent of the company that publishes Ad-Dustour, while the Jordan Engineers Association owns 18 per cent and the newspaper’s employee fund owns 5 per cent. Other shares are owned by private shareholders.

The Lower House has recently approved a set of recommendations by its National Guidance Committee to alleviate the worsening financial situation of the country’s major newspapers.

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