With heartburn and pain, the 34-year-old teacher, Sanaa Al-Ayed, talks about her bitter experience with Corona and her dismissal from work. “The Corona pandemic has destroyed our hopes for a stable life after my husband and I were laid off from work in the private school where we were working at the beginning of last April. Surprising without any income we live from. “
Al-Ayed told Al-Jazeera Net, “We have become burdened with bank installments and monthly associations to run our lives. We are required to pay 600 dinars per month ($ 850) for the apartment, the car, etc., which forced us to sell the car to secure our living necessities, and my husband worked as a salesman in a commercial market.”
112,000 agonizing stories
The story of Sanaa Al-Ayed is not the only one in Jordan, as there are many stories that resemble her in her living suffering with some differences in the details. This is a family whose wife was forced to sell her gold, and she offered her apartment for sale because she was unable to pay the bank installments.
This is a young man who decided to separate from his fiancée because he became unemployed after he was dismissed from the company in which he worked as an accountant for years, and between them a family of 7 members was expelled from their rented home for non-payment of rents and bills after their breadwinner lost his job.
Many stories shared by about 112,000 unemployed people due to the Corona pandemic, they joined the queue of job seekers, and unemployment rates among Jordanians constituted a societal shock, after they rose during the second quarter of this year to 23% compared to 19.3% during the first quarter of the same year.
In terms of numbers, the report of the Department of Statistics showed that within the second quarter of unemployment in Jordan, the number of unemployed and those looking for a job opportunity increased by about 84,000 people, up from 471,000 people in the first third of this year to nearly 555,000 people by the end of the third. The second of last July.
Economic analyst Jawad Al-Abbasi told Al-Jazeera Net that the statistics report came with worrying results in terms of high unemployment, This has negative consequences, whether on the level of household income in Jordan, or on the level of private spending in the economy, and also on poverty rates, especially with the limited national social safety nets.
Worker protection platform
The Ministry of Labor did not stand idly by in front of this situation, and confronted the campaign to lay off employees from their work with Defense Order No. 6 and the communications issued pursuant to it, all of which stipulated the regulation of the mechanism for paying wages to workers, achieving a balance between the rights of the employer and the rights of workers, and the rates of layoffs were significantly reduced in the sector Since the beginning of the Corona pandemic, the Ministry has found great cooperation from the private sector in maintaining its workers and paying their wages.
According to the Ministry of Information Director, Muhammad Al-Ziyoud, the Ministry of Labor has allocated to Al-Jazeera Net, a special platform called “Hemaya” to receive labor complaints, especially those affected by the Corona pandemic.
The number of complaints received by the Ministry since the beginning of the Korna pandemic reached more than 51 thousand complaints, ranging from termination of services and delay in payment of wages, as the number of those whose services were terminated reached 6 thousand and 406 workers, of whom the Ministry returned to work 4 thousand and 194 workers, while the services were terminated 2080 workers legally and not in violation of defense orders and reports issued by them, and there are still 132 complaints under process.
Al-Zyoud added that Defense Order No. 6 and the notices issued pursuant to it, have positively contributed to reducing the rates of layoffs, and obligated delinquent institutions and companies to pay their employees’ wages in full.
The employers who laid off their employees have a number of justifications. In the local scene, wedding halls and banqueting offices, closed for 7 months until now, are among the economic sectors most affected by the Corona pandemic, as the size of the damage to this sector has reached more than 40 million dinars (56 million Dollars).
In addition, about 40,000 employees working in this sector have been laid off, and work has stopped for about 27 service sectors working directly with this sector, according to the union of wedding hall owners.
The problem of unemployment is not only local to Jordan, but rather most countries of the world, and it has dire social and economic effects, especially as it affects a large segment of Jordanian families, but what further complicates the issue is the continuing economic and investment policies and human resource strategies to ignore this problem.