(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh on Tuesday stressed that the government is working intensively to address the issue of Arab Potash Company (APC) workers, who have been on strike for more than two weeks.
Responding to remarks by deputies who called for resolving the issue of the APC workers, Fayez said the government was keen on finding a quick solution to the problem.
During Tuesday's Lower House session, some MPs, including Karak Deputy Mahmoud Neimat, called on the government to immediately intervene and terminate the services of APC's board of directors.
Fayez underlined that the boards of directors of the mining companies would be a top priority for the government once it gains the confidence of the Chamber, citing the importance of the mining industry to the national economy.
These companies constitute a major pillar of the Kingdom's economy, he said, and therefore need to be run by competent and highly qualified directors.
Minister of Labour Atef Odeibat also indicated that the Cabinet had formed a committee comprising the ministers of finance, labour, and industry and trade to follow up on the APC workers' strike.
Odeibat said the committee had held several meetings with the striking employees and the management and had reached an agreement over all the workers' demands except end-of-service compensation.
"Although the end-of-service compensation will cost the APC JD75 million, the committee is still negotiating the matter with the various parties to finally arrive at an agreement to end the open-ended strike," Odeibat said.
In remarks to the Jordan News Agency, Petra, APC General Manager Keith Thornton said the company was committed to implementing the agreement it signed two years ago with the General Union for Workers in Mining Industries, under which APC workers gained several incentives.
The company is also committed to achieving the other "possible" demands of workers provided that they resume their work, he added.
Noting that the workers' strike is "illegal", Thornton said the management was studying the feasibility of meeting their other demands, which will cost the APC JD76 million.
He also warned that successive work stoppages would have negative effects on the country's investment environment and lead to losing international business.
Also during Tuesday's session, MPs continued their deliberations of the draft law governing the projected constitutional court, endorsing several articles of the reform-oriented legislation before the session was adjourned.
The Lower House also issued a statement expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people on the 64th anniversary of the Nakbeh (catastrophe), when Israel was created in 1948.
In the statement, a copy of which was sent to The Jordan Times, the House reiterated its support for the Palestinians in their quest to establish an independent state of their own.