A Jordanian company violates its employees' rights by depriving them of their salaries for 6 months

A Jordanian company violates its employees' rights by depriving them of their salaries for 6 months

London- A Jordanian company, that has dozens of branches in the country, has been violating the most basic rights of hundreds of its employees by depriving them of their salaries for almost six months, said ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies today.

The London-based think tank has received complaints from Pharmacy One employees about the failure of the company's management in responding to their demands of the payment of their late salaries.

Last week, dozens of these employees organized a sit-in in front of the company's  administration headquarter in the capital, Amman. They demanded the payment of their late salaries and stopping using the poor economic conditions resulted from the coronavirus pandemic as a pretext to violate their rights.

According to its official website, about a thousand employees work for One Pharmacy, which was established in 2001 as the first pharmacy chain in Jordan and has 104 branches across the Kingdom.

Pharmacy One has arbitrarily stopped paying the salaries of its employees since last August, without regard for their suffering and their families who have no source of income.

We lodged a formal complaint with the Ministry of Labour, but no measures have been taken 

- Ayham Saud, an employee at One Pharmacy.

The company used to pay salaries before the aforementioned date, but usually late for several days, an employee of the company told ImpACT in a statement. "Employees reluctantly accept the delay of their salaries due to the dire economic conditions that the company and the country face," he added.

Things became worse when the company stopped paying the salaries and put off identifying dates to pay them back. When employees tried to protest, they were threatened with a transfer of their workplace or termination of their service.

"We lodged a formal complaint with the Ministry of Labour, but no measures have been taken", said Ayham Saud, an employee at One Pharmacy.

ImpACT tried to contact the company for clarification on the issue but did not receive any response.

Pharmacy One employees threaten to increase their protest, using legitimate methods, to get their rights, pointing out that they went to the Jordanian pharmacist association and the Jordanian Ministry of Labour, but their demands have not been met.

According to one of the company's employees, some of the managers exerted some pressure on workers, such as transferring them to remote workplaces, or asking them to apply for unpaid leave or even resign.

Some of Pharmacy One managers exerted some pressure on workers, such as transferring them to remote workplaces, or asking them to apply for unpaid leave or even resign.

Employees stated that the company’s management sent them an e-mail the day before their sit-in, stating that it intends to pay the salaries of February and March within two weeks, in exchange for the employees ending their sit-in and returning to their work. They did, however, not mention the late salaries of the other four months.

ImpACT called on the relevant authorities in Jordan to urgently put an end to the crisis of Pharmacy One employees, to ensure that they obtain their rights by revieving their full salaries, and to investigate the violations they have been subjected to for months, including the threats for organizing peaceful protests.

ImpACT International calls on the Jordanian authorities to fulfil its obligation to enforce international covenants and agreements, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Article 7 of the latter assures "the right of everyone to just and favourable working conditions. These are in turn defined as fair wages with equal pay for equal work, sufficient to provide a decent living for workers and their dependents, along with safe working conditions."

ImpACT has previously documented widespread violations of workers' rights in Jordan, including expatriate workers, such as irregular payment of their salaries or punishing them by low wages, in addition to dangerous working conditions and the absence of safety guarantees.

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