In a webinar, with participation of representatives of ILO, world producers, BWJ, textile industry employers in Jordan, and the General Trade Union of Workers in Textile, Garment and Clothing Industries discussed issues to recover negative impacts of Coronavirus pandemic on textile and garment workers and employers.
The Union stressed on how to protect rights of workers, maintain their livelihood, and not to reduce Jordan’s share of work by World Brands Owners.
Mr. Omrani, the Union’s President, stated the importance to discuss this topic and to enhance Jordan’s presence in global production map, and maintain its share of production.
The purpose of organization of this virtual conference was to investigate direct impacts of Coronavirus pandemic on workers in Jordan, look for long term solution to overcome negative impact of the pandemic, and find ways for family members adapt in this crisis. In addition, interests of employers and market challenges were discussed.
Among conference participants, the International Federation of Industries and participants of more than one hundred textile and garment trade unions attended the teleconference.
Jordan Garments, Accessories & Textiles Exporters’ Association (JGATE), the Association of Owners of Factories, Workshops and Garments (AOFWG) and the General Trade Union of Workers in Textile, Garment & Clothing Industries agreed on a new annex of the Standard Work Contract for Migrant Workers.
The annex states that if the definite period work contract of the migrant worker expires and both contract parties do not wish contract renewal, the employer shall continue provide accommodation and food to worker until travel arrangements are completed without forcing the worker to work during such period.
If the definite period work contract expires and both parties wish to renew the contract, employer shall renew the contract using the approved standard work contract. In addition, if the contract expires and both parties wish to continue work for a short period of time until travel arrangements are completed, the employer and worker shall renew the approved and signed standard work contract with similar previous conditions as stated in the attached form.
إجتماع ثلاثي لدفع أجور العمال في الغزل والنسيج أثناء جائحة كورونا
The joint committee of representatives of textile sector employers and employees met to discuss several government decisions and Defense orders issued during the last period in particular those that affect workers in general and textile workers in particular as situation is becoming very hard on all.
During the meeting, it was stressed by all to comply with and implement all defense orders which aim to care for and protect workers’ life and maintain their livelihood which will lead to protection of textile and garment sector in Jordan.
In the meeting, Defense Order no. 6 of 2020 was reviewed. The Order stipulates that establishment authorized to perform partially or not included in non-work or unauthorized to work decision may apply to Minister of Labor to pay 50% of regular salary on condition it is not below minimum wage.
Pursuant to the Collective Agreement, employers pay minimum wage, so they will continue salary payment as well as in-kind items. This does not contradict with Defense Order requirements.
It was agreed to pay full wage of March 2020 without any deduction from both local and migrant workers as stated in Defence Order 6. As for workers who were not authorized to work during April 2020 whether at site or remotely, they will receive 70% of monthly salary, for JDs 300 minimum for Jordanian and foreign workers. Similarly, same process continued to apply during May 2020 until all workers return to work normally. It was also agreed during the meeting on specific means to pay salaries and avoid all misinterpretations. It was stressed also that during the lockdown, factories shall continue provide accommodation and meals to workers who were unauthorized to perform work.
The participants agreed on the QIZ textile workers’ interests and their daily livelihood. It is a sensitive and important sector for all parties and needs to be taken care of in order to maintain its competitiveness. They agreed to implement and comply with health and public safety and work SOPs approved by Ministry of Labor.
The minutes of the meeting was signed by JGATE President, Mr. Farhan Ifram, Jordan Chamber of Industry representative, Mr. Ihab Qadri, and the President of the General Union of Textile and Garment Sector Workers, Mr. Fathalla Omrani.
Remarks of the Union’s PresidentFathallah Al-Omrani
With the help of
all concerned parties, the General Trade Union of Workers in Textile,
Garment and Clothing Industries (the Union) had successfully concluded
a new sectoral Collective Bargain Agreement (the Agreement) along with Jordan
Garments, Accessories & Textiles Exporters’ Association (JGATE), and the
Association of Owners of Factories, Workshops and Garments (AOFWG). It is a good
opportunity to commend all efforts that had resulted with signature of the
Agreement that will serve entire Sector.
According to the Labor Law, the
Union is tasked with improvement of labor conditions and relations, including
conduct of collective bargaining and agreements. This Agreement is a way to
continue progress of textile and clothes sector which aims to support Jordan
economy and improve work conditions. The Agreement is also a step forward
building on previous sectoral bargain agreement.
The Agreement is a result of outstanding
cooperation between all parties; employers and employees, and reflects the
positive atmosphere of the Sector. It led to positive stability of the
relationship between parties and improvement of production concepts which will
resolve amicably all disputes that may arise from time to time. We hope that
all Agreement’s provisions will be fully implemented taking into consideration
the mutual interests of all parties.
The Agreement shall be a model for
other sectors. It is a way to manage any social dialogue process for solid
industrial relationships whether on employers’ level or the Sector as a whole.
It is a reflection of best practices that are in line with internationally
acknowledged labor standards.
We, at the Union, seek always to
establish, enhance and organize balanced relationships between investors and
employees. It is our aim to create attractive work environment that leads to the
welfare of workers and benefit of investors.
Therefore, at the time the Union
calls the employers to implement the Agreement, it urges employees to work
sincerely to maximize production and improve productivity to maintain and
Finally, as we congratulate all
those concerned on the signing of the sectoral agreement which its enforcement
started on 1 Nov. 2019 and will remain valid till 1 Nov. 2022, we commend the
positive understanding by all parties as well as the role played by BWJ in
bringing together the different viewpoints. We also thank all those who sought
and contributed to achieve these results.
cooperation with the International Federation of Industries, The Union organized
four workshops on capacity building of union committees members in Irbid
region. The Union President Fathalla Omrani explained sector issues and ways to
support union work.
workers learned on the International Federation of Industries, identified the
challenges which they face in factories and dorms, and discussed possible
solutions as well as the role of the Union in protecting workers’ rights and the
role of workers in supporting Union’s activities. In addition, the participants
learned on the Collective Bargain Agreement of Textile Sector. Mr. Omrani
stressed its importance and advantages for the workers. He also urged workers
to activate role of committees at work sites and the need to communicate
between committees and workers in factories.
Accessories & Textiles Exporters’ Association (JGATE) and the General Trade
Union of Workers in Textile, Garment and
Clothing Industries (the Union) represented by their presidents and board
members and members appreciated the efforts and role played by Minister of Labor
and his support for textile and apparel sector in removing all obstacles that
hinder sector growth and progress.
In a joint letter sent to the
Minister, both the Union and JGATE stated that Textile Sector is one of the
promising and supporting sectors of the economy in spite of difficulties they
face. They added that MOL dispatched recently inspection teams to QIZ
enterprises where they found that few number of workers of foreign
nationalities holding work permits of professions factory worker, factory
worker / sewing technician, factory worker / machine operator, factory worker /
QA, sewing technician, etc. but performing administrative jobs needed by
factories to operate being foreign investors employing huge number of foreign
workers, and they need non-Jordanian workers to operate critical jobs.
Further, they stated that MOL
inspectors were accompanied by police officers who arrested violating workers
and ordered immediate deportation. We believe that it is against human rights. In
addition, a cash penalty of three thousand dinar was paid for each worker
found. It is a huge amount for the factories.
The letter included a proposal to
identify closed and restricted trades and professions for migrant workers of
textile sector, and grant a grace period to correct the situation till date of
expiry of each work permit. Upon renewal, the profession shall be amended
reflecting exact situation. The letter urged to offer the Sector an open
description of permits which include admin jobs and others. Each factory might
be granted six vacancies of closed jobs for every 300 workers. In addition,
they called for stop of inspection raids on factories but suffice with
warnings, sanctions without arrest or imprisonment of violating workers.
Under the supervision of Better Work Jordan Program (BWJ) and
with active participation of the Union Board, the Eleventh Annual Brands Buyers
and Stakeholders Forum held in Amman. BWJ is keen and fully aware of bringing
together all stakeholders to meet, share ideas and opinions and find solutions
for the challenges which employees, the Union, investors and brands’ owners
face. The Forum plays a major role in sustainability of textile sector.
The Forum discussed issues of welfare and psychiatric health
of textile employees. This issue had appeared during the past years as a result
of change of work organization, request for production increase. At the
meeting, the Forum discussed offering employees required welfare which will
reflect positively on their health.
In another meeting session, work environment at the Jordanian
textile sector was discussed. The partnership between stakeholders is the key
for continuity of positive change. It was noted that the textile sector
constitutes 25% of total national exports. Further, the attendees discussed
enhancing cooperation between governments, employers, trade unions and brands
owners to have more impact and sustainability for all.
In a special session, the employment challenge in Jordan was
discussed, as the labor market started facing many complex challenges. The
market became unable to absorb new entrants and find jobs for them. The
participants stressed that there is potential growth of the market and
opportunities still exist and need to be properly approached and utilized.
A workshop at the Union’s offices in Ad-Dulail QIZ was
organized and attended by almost one hundred female workers to discuss matters
related to sexual harassment at worksite. Representatives of ILO and the General Trade
Union of Workers in Textile, Garment and
Clothing Industries (the Union) attended the workshop.
At the workshop, sexual harassment phenomenon was thoroughly
discussed to ensure its elimination and report of perpetrators. Organization of
the workshop was a proof of the Union’s belief in gender equality at worksite
and to combat any manifestations of harassment being verbal, suggestive, or
The participants discussed the concept of harassment which is
“conduct of any unwelcomed sexually suggestive that may lead to hostile
work environment or when the other party receiving such suggestive signs may
consider unethical and reject that. This may affect negatively the current or
potential work conditions.”
The participants pointed out that paragraph (a/6) of article
29 of the valid Jordanian Labor Law number 8 for 1996 as amended states that
“the employee may leave the work without notice, maintaining all legal
rights for end of service as well as compensations for harm and damage if the
employer or representative attacks the employee during work whether by hitting,
insulting or any other type of sexual attack punishable according to the
provisions of valid legislations.”
Whereas paragraph (b) of the same article states that
“if the Minister finds out that an attack by the employer or his
representative has occurred or practiced any kind of sexual harassment on
employees, he may close out the establishment for a period deem appropriate,
taking into consideration provisions of any other valid legislations”.
In cooperation with the International Federation of Industries, the General Trade Union of Workers in Textile, Garment, and Clothing Industries (the Union) organized three capacity building training workshops for union committees members in Irbid qualified industrial zone.
The Union President, Mr. Fathallah Al-Omrani inaugurated the workshops. He stressed the importance of such training workshops which increases the labor culture and introduces participants with knowledge on various labor-related information to include collective bargains and agreements issues.
During the workshops, the participants learned on the challenges the employees face at factories and dorms, and discussed probable solutions. They also discussed the Union’s role in protecting employees and their rights, the employees’ role towards the Union. In addition, the participants were updated of the special textile sector agreement, ways to activate work and role of the Union’s committees in factories and dorms. They were urged to maintain communication with the committees.