Day-Laborers crisis continues in Karak, block roads

[11-12-2011 12:00 AM]

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - Around 260 day-laborers working for the Ministry of Agriculture continued their open strike for the third day in the southern city of Karak in protest of unfair work conditions.

The day-laborers protested in front of the Karak Agriculture Department, blocking the main roads to the Department's building, demanding fixed employment, promotions, and increased wages and benefits, the workers' spokesperson Mohammad Btoosh told Ammon News .

Btoosh charged that protesting laborers received threats and harassment by some Karak Governorate officials.

"A number of female day-laborers received threats that anyone who partakes in the protest will be reprimanded by pay-cuts from their wages," Btoosh added, noting that other laborers also received indirect threats.

Btoosh accused the previous governments of 'lagging' despite repeated promises, and hoped that the new government would resolve their problem through endorsing a law to protect them and give them their rights and job security.

The Agriculture Ministry day-laborers' crisis with the government resurfaced this week after it stirred major controversy last year during PM Samir Rifai's government, this week with 260 Karak day-laborers protesting, some of whom hold university degrees but getting wages that reach a maximum of JD 170.

"All the laborers want is job security, earning an income that ensures them and their families a dignified living," Btoosh added.

The day-laborers decided to protest in front of the Prime Ministry in Amman on Saturday if their demands are not met by then.

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