(MENAFN – Jordan Times) More than 200 of the National Cable and Wire Manufacturing Company’s (CABLECO) 270 workers went on strike on Tuesday to protest against what they called “unfair” working conditions.
Ali Hadid, president of the Electricity Workers Union (EWU), said the workers are unhappy with their “low wages” and want raises in addition to higher cost of living allowances.
“The workers called for increasing their salaries and enhancing the quality of their health insurance coverage,” he told The Jordan Times over the phone yesterday, noting that the monthly salaries of 43 workers in the company are less than JD250, while 204 employees receive less than JD500.
One of the protesters, Yousef Hmeid, pointed out that he gets JD460 a month even though he has been with the company for 22 years.
“We can hardly meet the rising cost of living,” said the father of seven, who gathered outside the company’s premises in Zarqa with his co-workers.
The EWU president said the union has held several meetings with the CABLECO management, but they failed to reach an agreement to end the dispute.
Hadid insisted that workers, who are exposed to daily hazards due to the nature of their jobs, deserve better salaries.
Another protester, Ahmad Khaleel agreed with Hadid, noting that workers are exposed to toxic fumes emanating in the factory.
“Some employees now suffer from severe allergic headaches because of the nature of our work,” he charged.
CABLECO General Manager Mohammed Aref described the workers’ demands as unreasonable, stating that the company’s workers receive “much higher salaries” compared to their peers in other firms.
“The company’s financial status prevents us from meeting their demands, which will cost around JD500,000 a year,” he told The Jordan Times yesterday.
But Hadid insisted that the company has the financial capability to improve the workers’ salaries, noting its net profits stood at around JD807,000 last year.
However, Aref said the level of profits generated last year are still not enough to meet the demands as the board of directors will not agree to slashing profits by more than 50 per cent.
Established in 1983, CABLECO is the largest of six companies in the Kingdom that manufacture cables, providing the local market with 50 per cent of the item, according to Hadid.