Better Work Jordan: 7th Compliance Synthesis Report

16 Aug 2016

This report provides a snapshot of the non-compliance findings during the reporting period in factories participating to Better Work Jordan. The data collected illustrate compliance with labor standards according to eight clusters: four based on ILO core labor standards regarding child labor, forced labor, discrimination, and freedom of association and collective bargaining, and four indicators based on national law regarding working conditions (compensation, contracts and human resources, occupational safety and health, and working time).

The major findings emerging from the data are as follows:

Assessments found one instance of non-compliance in a factory, which was unable to show documentation for cleaners on-site who worked for a cleaning company that had been subcontracted. During the reporting period Better Work Jordan had concerns with two factories concerning workers from Bangladesh and Nepal who appeared to be underage. These concerns were reviewed with the factory and reported to the Ministry of Labor.

Discrimination on the basis of race, color and origin with 51 factories (80%) out of compliance due to the national law and CBA not meeting international standards because of the differences in the payment of financial benefits between migrant and Jordanian workers. The recently signed Addendum to the sector-wide collective bargaining agreement will gradually eliminate this
discriminatory practice by August-2017. It is worth mentioning that starting in January 2016, two factories have proactively eliminated this compensation-based discrimination by implementing all the conditions of the Addendum. The other major non-compliance here is the hiring of disabled workers. Though all factories have hired disabled workers, many fall slightly short of the legal requirement, which has resulted in non-compliance.

Jordan has significantly reduced forced labor since the inception of Better Work. This year four factories were found non-compliant in the coercion category, one of which has since been shut down by the Ministry of Labor.

All factories are non-compliant under Freedom to Associate as the law forbids workers from forming unions of their own choice by stipulating a single trade union structure. Furthermore, in this section we find non-compliances related to implementation of the CBA and its addendums- in many cases factories implement part of the CBA, but do not fully comply with implementing all portions.

Failure to comply with the provisions on compensation contained in the sector-wide Collective Bargaining Agreement was the most frequent basis for factory non-compliance, usually related to the calculations of financial benefits. An Addendum to the CBA, effective as of 1st August 2014, requires employers to include gradually increasing in-kind amounts as part of the base salary in the calculation of all financial benefits in order to eliminate this discrimination between migrant and Jordanian workers. The provisions of this Addendum were unclear and/or not applied by some factories. As factories become more familiar with the CBA and accustomed to abiding by all its provisions, non-compliances should decrease.

The recruitment process for migrant workers persists as a major challenge, for nearly half of factories (47%) are non-compliant with regard to workers, mainly from India and male workers from Sri Lanka, who paid unauthorized recruitment fees to agents in excess of reasonable costs. The percentage of factories that were found to have not taken the required steps to ensure that migrant workers did not play any unauthorized fees decreased from 44% to 28% compared to the previous report.

The level of OSH non-compliance findings represents approximately half of total non-compliance findings. Based on the employment contract and the provisions of the CBA, garment factory employers in Jordan provide accommodation for migrant workers; this area remains a key challenge for OSH compliance as nearly 70% of worker dormitories do not comply with the minimum space requirements, are inadequately protected against heat, cold and dampness and have a significant presence of insects. Two other recurring issues in this cluster relate to the presence of medical and OSH professionals on site.

In this reporting period, 20 factories were found out of compliance with reliable and accurate records among which 6 factories were transparent in providing all their working hour records to the assessors whereas 14 factories did not share their complete records.

Please read here the statement of the national Programme Advisory Committee (PAC) about this report.

Better Work publishes compliance synthesis reports for each of its country programmes, presenting analysis of non-compliance at the aggregate level. The goal of these reports is to provide transparent information for all programme stakeholders regarding working conditions in the factories participating in the programme.


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