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Urgent Alert - Jordan - September 2006

September 27, 2006  |  Share

A number of factories in Jordan have recently been forcibly deporting workers who have done nothing but ask for their rights. This comes in the wake of a number of NLC reports on conditions in Jordan for Bangladeshi workers who have been illegally trafficked there to work in apparel factories.

Although there have been improvements in the situation recently (see NLC's most recent update here), there remain far too many cases of serious factory abuse, especially regarding the firing, imprisonment and forcible deportation of workers whose only crime is seeking respect for their most basic legal rights under Jordanian law and under the U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement (for more information, see the NLC's original report here).


The Jordanian government must move to assure that the workers deported from the Saidan, Atateks, Silver Planet, Jordan Silk and Horizon factories are quickly returned to Jordan, with payment of back wages and the option to work in better factories. These workers traveled to Jordan in good faith, incurring significant debts to purchase their work contracts. If they are not returned to Jordan, then the Jordanian government, the factory owners and the U.S. companies must compensate these workers, who must be made whole again.

Click here to see a model letter.

Deportations, Imprisonments and Firings for Daring to Speak Out:

May 20, 2006: Two workers fired and deported at gunpoint from the Saidan Garments factory. Despite promises from the Jordanian government, these workers have yet to be returned to Jordan.

August 6, 2006: Ten workers form the Atateks factory were fired, imprisoned, beaten and forcibly deported back to Bangladesh for leading a nonviolent struggle to win their legal rights, including payment of the minimum wage. The Atateks factory produces for Target and J.C. Penney.

September 2, 2006: Eight workers were fired, imprisoned for 10 days and forcibly deported from the Silver Planet factory where they sewed garments for Wal-Mart. Abusive conditions at the Silver Planet factory include mandatory 24-hour shifts and payment below the minimum wage. Workers are routinely at the factory 92 1/2 hours a week.

September 6, 2006, three guest workers of the Jordan Silk factory were fired, imprisoned, beaten and forcibly deported for asking for the return of their passports, an eight-hour day, payment of the legal minimum wage and regular access to running water in their dorm.

On July 15, 2006, a worker was fired and deported from the Horizon factory when management discovered that he had met and spoken honestly with social compliance auditors sent by a large U.S. company.

Please write a letter to the Jordanian Ambassador, Mr. Karim Kawar. Click here for a model letter. 

Honorable Karim Kawar
Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the United States 
3504 Interntional Drive, N.W
Washington, DC. 20008 
Telephone number: (202) 966 - 2664
Fax number: (202) 966 - 3110
E-mail: [email protected]   



October 2—

Stripped of their passports, foreign guest workers are fired and deported for asking for their most basic legal rights: 

Ad Dulayl Industrial Park
Zarka, Jordan

(According to local sources, the factory produces for Calvin Klein, GAP and Levi Strauss. Levi Strauss has denied that they are producing at Rainbow.The NLC continues to investigate the situation.)

September 27, 2006, RAINBOW factory workers strike, demanding an end to:
--Routine and severe physical beatings;
--Mandatory 15-hour shifts without overtime pay; --Continued confiscation of guest workers passports. (Workers' passports have yet to be returned);

Sunday, October 1, 2006:  200 Bangladeshi garment workers hold peaceful sit-down in front of the Jordanian governors office in Zarka demanding:
--Reinstatement of 4 women workers who were fired and forcibly deported; --Release of six worker leaders who had been imprisoned since Saturday, September 30.

In a nearby factory, also in the Ad Dulayl Industrial Park, 1,000 foreign guest workers struck on the week of September 25 to protest illegal working conditions.

* IRIN:  United National Humanitarian News and Information Service
* General Federation of Textile Industries, Jordan






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