UNRWA strike still going strong

Published May 9th, 2012 - 11:00 GMT
The strikers are demanding JD100 pay raises retroactively from the beginning of this year without any cut in their incentives
The strikers are demanding JD100 pay raises retroactively from the beginning of this year without any cut in their incentives

A meeting held on Tuesday between the Department of Palestinian Affairs and UNRWA representatives failed to end an open-ended strike by the agency’s workers.

UNRWA staff started an open-ended strike on Sunday, shutting down basic services for Jordan's 1.5 million Palestinian refugees. The strikers are demanding JD100 pay raises retroactively from the beginning of this year without any cut in their incentives.

The employees also want promotions for teachers, directors and supervisors; filling of vacancies in all the agency’s sectors; and the improvement of work conditions. A source among the workers, who asked to remain unnamed, said the meeting had made no headway in the dispute between the relief agency and its employees.

The source added that the workers’ demands were fair and legitimate. "UNRWA teachers have started leaving the agency because they see that their peers in public schools are paid more than them," he told The Jordan Times over the phone on Tuesday.

"We are open to negotiations but no one has contacted us yet," the source said, stressing that the workers would continue to strike until their demands were met. Nearly all of the agency's 7,500 employees responded to a call by their representative councils to hold a work stoppage in protest against UNRWA's "reluctance" to meet their demands.

The strike has "knock-on effects" on all of the Kingdom’s Palestinian refugees, who depend on UNRWA for their livelihood, according to the agency.


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