Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bangladeshi garment workers stage sit-in protest in Jordan

About 38 Bangladeshi migrant workers Wednesday staged a sit-in outside Jordanian Labor Ministry, urging the government to take legal action against their former employer in Sahab, southeast of capital Amman, local daily The Jordan Times reported Thursday.

The Qudorat Garment Company in Sahab closed down suddenly and the owner left the kingdom, leaving 321 Bangladeshis and 31 Jordanians without their salaries for July and August, Abu Zeineh, an official with General Trade Union of Workers in Textile, Garment and Clothing Industries, said on Wednesday.

The Labor Ministry cooperated with the union to redistribute the remaining workers to garment factories in Sahab and at Al Hassan Industrial Estate in Irbid, Abu Zeineh said, adding that some Bangladeshi workers refused to continue working in the kingdom.

Labor Ministry Secretary General Ghazi Shbeikat said the ministry addressed the Social Security Corporation to refund the workers their SSC subscriptions.

"We are also taking measures in cooperation with authorities in Sahab to confiscate the company's assets in order to be sold to offset the workers' outstanding dues," Shbeikat said, adding that the ministry will continue to provide the workers with food and shelter until they leave the country.

According to Zeineh, the union contacted Qudorat's main branch in Hong Kong regarding the workers' financial rights, but the company refused to take responsibility.

A total of nine out of 32 garment factories have shut down since the beginning of 2008, after Qudorat abruptly ended its operations this summer, according to officials.


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