Thursday, September 28, 2006

Jordan is having rude awakening

I wonder whether the gripe by the federation of the labor unions is something that will have some grave consequences on the long run, or is it going to end up being just a tempest in the tea pot.! Getting wrangled in legal proceedings can be very arduous thorny & costly process. I'm not even sure that Jordan has the wherewithal to withstand standing up to these giant labor federations and their highly paid elite lawyer.
We all know how much it cost the Arab Bank to defend its position against an alleged accusation of transferring money to illegal Palestinian organizations.
While there is no parallel between the two cases still, litigation especially coming from the USA can be very costly and time consuming.
I hope that Jordan would do something quick to extricate itself from this legal mess. Being a member of the free trade organizations may end up being a liability rather than an asset for Jordan.
These people mean business they use the law to its fullest extent. Repeated violations of the labor laws will not be tolerated by them and what may be acceptable working conditions in Jordan may not even meet the minimum standards required by the federation of labor unions.
In the place where I work we have been negotiating with the union officials for over a year and a half just to remove one paragraph from the contract and to adjust the labor re-numerations by less than fifty cents over a three year period.
Jordanian official need to wake up and smell the coffee if they want to continue with this free trade thing and with importing laborers from poor Asian countries and working them all kinds of hours with very little benefits and lousy work conditions.
I'm almost sure that if this litigation is allowed to proceed before any quick amicable solution is found, Jordan will be stymied and would have to make a lot of concessions before the working conditions of the laborers can be corrected and brought up to a standard acceptable to the global community.
Some bloggers were quick to point that other parts of the world are still practicing slave labor and no one is bothering them, while this may be true but remember that those countries are probably not members of the free trade organization and not governed by the same standards, in addition, that no one of these people have come forward to lodge a complain the way the guest workers in Jordan did.
I'm not going to speculate about the upshot but in my opinion it doesn't look good at all.

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