Consumers anticipate little impact from traders’ strike
The Cabinet decided on Tuesday to freeze a hike in electricity tariffs that prompted a popular backlash from activists and traders alike. The Jordan Chamber of Commerce (JCC) planned the work stoppage to protest against the 2011 Landlords and Tenants Law and put pressure on the government to reconsider recent hikes in electricity rates. Jawabreh said merchants want to grab the government's attention through this move. In a protest last month, traders called on the government to scrap Article 5 of the controversial law, which requires long-standing tenants and their landlords to negotiate new rental fees or, if they cannot agree on a new rate, have it determined by a court.
According to Mohammed Ababneh, president of the Jordan Pharmacists Association, the sector will also observe the strike, but some pharmacies will remain open. He said pharmacists are affected by the Landlords and Tenants Law, because they have to abide by certain rules when selecting a location for their pharmacies, which makes it difficult for them to find suitable premises. But Pharmacy1, the largest chain of pharmacies in Jordan with 53 outlets across the Kingdom, said they had no idea about the planned strike. Amani Abu Hilal, senior vice president for corporate affairs and communications at Pharmacy1, told The Jordan Times that the management had not received any notification regarding the strike.
Earlier last month, the Kingdom's merchants observed a one-day strike called for by the JCC to protest against the law, while around 30 landlords gathered outside the Prime Ministry to urge the government not to amend the law. Also Tuesday, Bakery Owners Association President Abdul Ilah Hamawi said the association had decided late Monday night to suspend its plans for a strike by the Kingdom’s bakers in response to the government’s decision. Despite several attempts made by The Jordan Times to contact JCC President Nael Kabariti, he was not available for comment.