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The New Arab Staff

Jordan detains teacher union officials over potential 'economic damage' strike action could cause

Teachers strikes in Jordan last year ended with a 50 percent pay rise [Getty]

Date of publication: 27 July, 2020

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Jordan has detained 13 teacher union officials after they threatened industrial action.
Jordan said on Sunday it had detained teachers' union officials due to the threat industrial action could cause to the kingdom's delicate economy.

Leading members of the Teachers Syndicate were detained on Saturday after the 100,000-strong union accused the government of not honouring last year's deal on wages.

Security forces were deployed to the capital after the syndicate called for demonstrations outside government buildings. Thirteen union officials were also detained on charges of incitement, corruption, criminal activities and financial irregularities, according to Reuters.

"The teachers union were threatening again to stage protests, sit-ins and strikes that harm the state's essential services and their functioning," said Amjad al Adailah, government spokesman, according to the agency.

The government believes that strike action now could lead to immense harm for the kingdom as it deals with the economic impact of lockdown measures intended to tackle the coroanvirus crisis.

Among those detained was Nasser Nawasreh who led the union's month-long strike last year which ended with a 50 percent pay rise for teachers in October.

The union said the government has not honoured its part of the deal and some have called for the resignation of Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz.

The teachers' strike was one of the most hard-hitting strike actions taken by the public sector in years.

Jordan enforced some of the toughest lockdown measures in the world, with a nationwide curfew employed to control the spread of the disease.

While Covid-19 cases remained low in the kingdom, the lockdown has done immense economic harm and hit livelihoods.

Jordan has been accused of taking an increasingly tough response to criticism of the government and in April jailed TV executives after airing complaints of the lockdown measures.


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