Balqa – The case of about 250 male and female workers at the National Center for Mental Health Hospital in Mahis and Al-Fuhais districts of Al-Balqa Governorate has entered a new chapter, with the future of 70 workers up in the air.
Since the government approved a minimum wage of 260 dinars in early 2021, until last month all workers received a monthly salary of 220 dinars, the previous minimum wage, as the ministry took over. Health had breached the contract concluded with it, which required it to bear the wage differential in the event of changing its minimum, while the ministry denied this and said there was no indication in the contract.
In the latest developments in the case, the Ministry of Health terminated the company’s contract a few days ago and signed a contract with a new one, prompting the workers to renew their demands for a monthly minimum wage difference of 40 dinars. From the beginning of 2021 to the end of last month, many more picketed in front of the hospital building a few days ago, protesting the new company’s decision to eliminate the services of 70 people. As the workers, many of them pledged to “Al-Qat,” “the protest action will continue until everyone is treated fairly.”
Al-Khat could not get a response from the management of the new institution, but an official source in the hospital management confirmed that there are serious efforts and efforts to reach various understandings, especially by the administrative rulers in the governorate. The parties to the case indicated that the new contracts for all workers would be subject to the current minimum wage (260 dinars) in an attempt to reinstate 70 workers.
The source confirmed that the work of the hospital was not affected by the new developments and continued as normal, pointing out that the service company operates in areas such as hygiene, food preparation and laundry.
Al-Qat shed light on the issue and reported the story of all its parties, as they affirmed that most of them continue to work without adhering to the minimum wage, because they have not found an alternative, amid mounting financial responsibilities and generally high cost of living, to be paid within the minimum wage. They repeatedly requested and granted their rights.
As for the former company, sources inside it confirmed, “There are old contracts concluded with the Ministry of Health through the Public Procurement Department, where the minimum wage was 220 dinars. Mahis and Fuheis brigade and they are about 3 thousand workers, both men. and woman.
Sources added, “The health ministry had earlier promised to pay the difference in raising the minimum wage 4 or 5 times in previous years, but the last hike has not been done by the ministry so far and the company is responsible. Paying the difference in workers’ subscriptions to the public institution for social security, the salary is 260 dinars, not 220, an average of 15 dinars for each worker.
He further confirmed, “It has sent several official communications to the Ministry of Health, insisting on compensation as a result of raising the minimum wage to 260 dinars, which is about 4 million dinars. The Ministry of Health addressed the Ministry. Finance and Prime Minister, but the procedures are still in place without any results.
He also pointed out that the “delay in settling the case has left the company financially exhausted and threatens its continuity, not to mention the large amount disclosed by inspectors of the Ministry of Labor due to the wage problem.”
The Director of the Services Department of the Ministry of Health, Engineer Suwad Nayef, previously told Al-Qat, “The duration of the contract for the service companies is two years, and if we consider that there are contracts that have already started before the approval. The last minimum wage means that there are agreements between them.” It is still based on the previous minimum wage of 220 dinars, while denying that “the agreements include guarantees from the Ministry of Health for the compensation of the event”. The minimum wage has been raised.
Naif added, “Prime Minister usually considers compensation claims for companies in case of minimum wage hike, and despite months of communication between the Health and Finance Ministries regarding the compensation claims, no decision has been taken. taken in connection with them.”
For its part, the Ministry of Labor says, “The electronic safety platform allows any worker to file a complaint about non-compliance with the minimum wage in his company at any time, so that it is followed up by the inspection teams of the Ministry. Violations are issued against it.
The Ministry relies on the text of Article (53) of the Labor Law, which provides for punishing the employer with a fine of not less than 500 dinars and not more than 1,000 dinars for each case of underpaying a worker. Any wage discrimination for a minimum wage or work of equal value between both sexes, resolving the difference in wages of the worker and doubling the penalty whenever the violation is repeated.
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