Thousands of workers paid by the United Nations are on strike in Amman, Jordan. The United Nations news agency IRIN reports that the action has closed schools and clinics that serve the large Palestinian refugee community there. The workers—some of them Palestinian refugees themselves—are demanding better wages:
One of the disgruntled teachers, Salem (not his real name), said he was also a refugee and deserved a “decent salary”.
“People used to envy us … due to the good salaries, but as the years passed by and inflation ate into our pay, people began to pity us.”
Salem shares his two-room concrete home near the centre of the al-Hussein-camp with his wife and eight children. He said he had no option but to strike: “The salary is barely enough for 10 days. What to do for the rest of the month?”
Palestinian refugees who arrived in Jordan after the 1948 and 1967 wars with Israel. Today they number nearly 1.8 million.
The official response of United Nations officials in Amman called the strike “futile.”