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Modest wages at gas stations blamed on low commission, high operation costs

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Mar 23,2016 - Last updated at Mar 23,2016

A gas station in Amman supplied by the Jordan Petroleum Products Marketing Company on Wednesday (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — Gas stations workers receive low wages because of the low commission ratio set by the government and the high operation costs at stations, an association leader said Wednesday.

Gas Stations Owners Association (GSOA) President Nahar Seidat told The Jordan Times in an e-mail interview that this problem is most evident at stations owned by individuals.

Gas stations affiliated with companies pay somewhat higher wages, especially since they are located in areas frequented by customers, which in turn attracts Jordanian workers who feel more secure in a job that has overtime pay and other benefits, Seidat explained.

The GSOA president said there are 450 gas stations around the Kingdom, where three main fuel distribution companies operate — Manaseer Oil & Gas, Total Jordan and Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company, through its subsidiary, the Jordan Petroleum Products Marketing Company (Jo Petrol) — supplying gas stations under contracts. 

At the Manaseer Oil & Gas, 75 per cent of the workers are Jordanians, whereas the rest are guest workers. Total Jordan has 90 per cent Jordanian workers, as is the case with the Jo Petrol, according to Seidat. 

As for stations owned by individuals, he said Jordanian workers make up 65 per cent of their employees and the rest are guest workers, but only a few are covered by health and social security insurances. 

Manaseer Oil & Gas pays employees at its stations a starting salary of JD220. Afterwards, the salary could increase up to JD350, based on the years of experience, according to Seidat.

He added that Manaseer employees have health and social insurance as well as an additional month's bonus salary, whereas Total Jordan offers the same privileges but salaries at its stations could rise up to JD450 after workers gain experience. 

Jo Petrol follows two hiring systems — one is the regular direct employment and the other is hiring through a company, Seidat said, noting that the company is experimenting with both systems to choose the most suitable. 

Recently, Khaled Zyoud, president of the General Trade Union of Workers in Petrochemicals, accused Total Jordan of violating the job security of its employees as it hires them via a third party.

“Total Jordan employees do not have contracts with the company directly, but they deal with a third company and abide by the conditions set by the third party without the ability to take legal action against the oil company if needed,” Zyoud charged in a statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra.

Dismissing the accusations as groundless, Seidat told The Jordan Times earlier this week that Total Jordan hires employees and deals with them in line with the Labour Law. 

 

"Hiring employees via another company that signs agreements with them is legal and Total Jordan follows this practice wherever it operates around the world,” he said at the time, charging that "the statement by the general trade union is meant to settle scores and is for personal motives”.

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