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Jordan garment sector seeks exclusion from wage hike
Jan '12
Jordan's garment sector has urged the Government to exclude it from the proposed minimum wage hike for workers in the country.

Garment entrepreneurs in Jordan are apprehending that if the minimum wage is hiked from the current JOD 150 to JOD 190, this would raise their operational cost by 15 to 20 percent and prove detrimental to the industry's competitiveness.

Speaking at a meeting of the Jordan Garments, Accessories and Textiles Exporters Association (JGATE), which was attended by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Labour Ministry representatives, JGATE CEO Mohammad Khurma requested the Government to grant an exemption to the garment industry from raising the wages.

He said the garment industry is not opposed to raising the living standard of the local workers, but it does not agree that raising minimum wage can serve the purpose.

Making a mention that the sector serves as a source of livelihood for about 16,000 domestic and 27,000 migrant workers, Mr. Khurma noted that the proposed minimum wage differentiates between the domestic and foreign workers, which would amount to violation of Article 6 of Jordan's Free Trade Agreement with the US.

He claimed that the Jordanian garment firms are already paying their workers in excess of the proposed minimum wage of JOD 190, including non-cash benefits. The workers enjoy free transportation facility and also earn other incentives from the industry, which usually sums up to more than JOD 190, he informed.

The JGATE Chief forewarned that the Government's move of raising minimum wage for domestic workers would incite foreign workers to observe strikes to earn wages at par with their Jordanian counterparts.

He further pointed out that the country's garment industry is mainly served by lures young workers in the age group of 18 to 24 years, who mostly do not happen to be the main bread-earners for their family; rather they only contribute a part of the same.

Mr. Khurma warned that the Ministry's decision would cause a number of garment manufacturing units to close down or shift their business elsewhere outside Jordan, where they meet more favourable investment climate.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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