Last updated: 30 April, 2012

UN Palestinian agency staff in Jordan strike over pay

More than 7,000 staff of the UN Palestinian refugee agency in Jordan observed a one-day strike on Monday to demand better pay and conditions.

The UN Relief and Works Agency employees, including teachers and medical staff, “demand a $140 salary raise and they do not want their annual bonus cut,” UNRWA spokesperson Anwar Abu Sakinah told AFP.

“The strike also forced UNRWA’s 172 schools in Jordan to close, affecting 123,000 pupils.”

Abu Sakinah did not say if the staff plan to resume their strike if UNRWA management does not meet their demands.

“UNRWA regrets the announced decision of staff unions to stage … action in Jordan, which will negatively impact on the services we deliver to Palestine refugees in Jordan,” the management said in a statement.

“We appeal to the unions to call off this action and to respond to management’s repeated requests… to hold meetings to resolve outstanding issues.”

In all, UNRWA cares for some five million Palestinian refugees in the Middle East, around two million of them in Jordan.

The agency has made a $344 million emergency appeal this year.