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Goodwill negotiations

Feb 24,2018 - Last updated at Feb 24,2018

It is certainly good news that the management of the Jordan Press Foundation (JPF) and representatives of Al Rai newspaper’s employees averted a labour crisis, which could have spiralled to an untimely strike.

JPF’s Chairperson Ramadan Rawashdeh was able to reach a settlement with the employees of the daily newspaper in time before the publication of the newspaper was interrupted.

Al Rai is one of Jordan’s leading dailies. It has been in publication since 1971, and gained the appreciation and respect of thousands of readers throughout the past 46 years. The circulation of the paper continued to grow for the past decades due to increasing demand.

The accord reached between the two sides covered a host of issues, including the payment of overdue bonus salaries since the past two years.

It is no secret that the JPF is facing financial hardships due to a variety of reasons, among which is the drop in the circulation of all newspapers, including Al Rai, and the increased costs of operation.

The advent of social media and people’s growing non-reliance on print media caused a dramatic drop in the number of newspapers readership.

Yet, print media continues to serve basic purposes, including news analysis, official and non-official notices and advertisements that are useful to the public.

It is no secret that dailies in Jordan, including Al Rai, are stuck with reduced revenues, yet, rising costs. Employees demand higher wages and they rightly do so to compensate for the increasing costs of living. However, dailies continue to lose.

Al Rai, therefore, is caught in a lose-lose-situation when it tries to meet the legitimate demands of its employees while remaining solvent. This is the no-win situation that both sides of the controversy found themselves caught in as they negotiated over their differences. Both sides need to reckon with the reality that both employer and employee have vested interests in keeping Al Rai afloat.

It appears that the employees of Al Rai and its management well understood the constraints under which they were bargaining and have, fortunately, exercised statesmanship.

They have both emerged from the crisis reasonably satisfied with the outcome of their goodwill negotiations.

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