Egyptian workers in Jordan protest ‘security crackdown’

Dozens of Egyptian workers in Jordan protested what they described as a security clampdown on them in front of the the Egyptian Embassy in Amman on Monday. It is their second sit-in in two days.

The Jordanian labor minister and security authorities launched a wide-scale inspection campaign across the kingdom at the beginning of April to find foreign workers working in violation of the country’s labor laws.

Jordanian authorities gave foreign workers and employers a grace period that ended on 18 March to gain legal status. About 30,000 workers of different nationalities petitioned for status changes.

Salah Atyan, a labor affairs consultant to the Egyptian Embassy in Jordan, and several embassy employees met with the protesters to hear their grievances, and promised to help resolve the issue.

On Sunday, protesters said they would begin an open-ended strike in front of the embassy if the Jordanian government and the Egyptian Embassy did not heed their call for help.

Egyptian Ambassador to Jordan Amr Abul Ata met with labor representatives at the embassy headquarters on 1 April in response to an earlier sit-in in front of the embassy. He promised actions would be taken to protect the dignity of Egyptian workers and protect their rights, particularly in light of the strong relations between the two countries.

According to the Jordanian Labor Ministry, Egyptian workers comprise 68 percent of the 238,000 foreign workers in Jordan. However, an unofficial statistic put the total number of Egyptian workers at half a million.

Translated from MENA

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