Although pumping from stations supplying the central region [of Jordan] with water has resumed, Ministry of Water and Irrigation employees on Sunday said their strike would continue until their demands are met.
The ministry employees started their strike in all the Kingdom's governorates more than a week ago and escalated protest action on Thursday morning by shutting down pumping stations in the Madaba and Balqa governorates.
"The committee organising the strike urged our colleagues to resume pumping water and not to hold the public hostage and they have responded as the stations began operating on Saturday. Nonetheless, our strike will continue," Mudar Abbadi, head of the ministry’s private wells directorate and the employees’ representative, told The Jordan Times
Abbadi said the committee refused a proposal to meet with the prime minister on Sunday to detail the demands of the protesting employees.
"We refused the proposal because the ministry is well aware of our demands and approved them last week, then went back on the decision. We have three main demands which are already clear," he noted.
These are raising overtime payments from 30 per cent to 50 per cent, distributing the “institution allowance”, which is equal to 30 per cent of the basic salary, and paying transportation allowance to all employees.
After hundreds of ministry employees protested in Amman and several governorates over the past week to demand better salaries and the reinstatement of their revoked allowances, senior officials said last Tuesday that the ministry would respond to the three demands.
The employees claim that the ministry rescinded its decision the next day.
A source at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, confirmed that the ministry approved the demands and then withdrew, without commenting on the reason.
"There will be no more negotiation, the strike will continue and we will take to the streets until we get our rights. We want a written approval from the Cabinet," Abbadi said.