(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The number of workers subscribed to the social security system rose 140 per cent from 366,000 in 2000 to more than 881,000 by the end of 2010, the Department of Statistics (DoS) said on Monday.
"The labour movement in Jordan was one of the first labour movements in the Arab world when the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions (GFJTU) was founded in 1954, which made the labour sector achieve substantial progress over the past six decades, taking advantage of the positive economic environment and constructive cooperation among all partners in the development process," the DoS said in a statement issued yesterday on the occasion of Labour Day.
The department added that workplace safety regulations issued by various government institutions had contributed to bringing down the number of work-related accidents, noting that average wages had also improved from JD60 per month in the 1970s to JD190 in the 1990s and JD392 in 2011.
"In spite of the gains the local labour sector has made over the years, it still faces many challenges, most importantly competition with foreign labourers, which has magnified dramatically, preventing local workers from benefiting from jobs created by the various economic sectors, and keeping unemployment rates constant in spite of the efforts being made to reduce them," the DoS statement said.
Moreover, women's participation in the labour sector is not yet up to expectations, with women's economic participation in 2011 standing at 14.7 per cent, the statement said.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued on the occasion, GFJTU President Mazen Maaytah highlighted the labour-related agreements signed over the past year to uphold the rights of Jordanian workers and improve their work conditions.
Maaytah noted that there are more than 600,000 workers in the private sector, of whom 100,000 are members of the GFJTU's 17 trade unions.
"The federation has been very active in the past in bridging the gaps between employers and employees. Just last year, we managed to sign 79 collective labour agreements benefiting more than 220,000 labourers at a total cost of more than JD150 million, which helped improve work conditions and enhanced workers' salaries and benefits," he said.
Maaytah added that during the first quarter of the current year, the federation's mediation attempts between disputing parties in the labour sector succeeded in producing 32 collective bargaining agreements costing a total of JD50 million, from which nearly 26,000 workers have benefited.