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‘Nearly 7,000 illegal guest workers apprehended this year’

By Hana Namrouqa - Mar 05,2014 - Last updated at Mar 05,2014

AMMAN — The Labour Ministry has shut down 103 factories and institutions since the beginning of this year for employing illegal guest workers and breaching the Labour Law a senior official said on Wednesday.

In addition, the ministry issued 2,681 tickets to institutions found in violation of the law, according to Labour Minister Nidal Katamine.

“A total of 6,692 illegal guest workers have been apprehended since the beginning of the year, while 2,329 guest workers have rectified their status,” Katamine said in a statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

The ministry also decided to deport 489 illegal guest workers of different nationalities and issued warnings to 862 businesses for employing illegal guest workers, he noted.

“The measures are part of the ongoing campaign carried out in cooperation with the Public Security Department. We urge all guest workers and business owners to comply with the Labour Law,” Katamine added.

Meanwhile, Ayman Khawaldeh, head of the ministry’s inspection directorate, said all guest labourers must obtain valid work permits, or they will be deported.

“The ministry has also apprehended 681 illegal guest workers at circles and public squares,” Khawaldeh added.

Illegal guest workers are given a grace period to rectify their status, but if they fail to do so, they are sent back to their countries in cooperation with their embassies.

The ministry has posted the names of 270,000 guest workers whose work permits expired between 2011and 2013 on its website.
Last year, the ministry detained more than 23,000 illegal guest workers and closed down 803 institutions in violation of the Labour Law, according to official figures.

In addition, 4,429 labour-related complaints were registered in 2013, a 17 per cent drop compared to 2012, when 5,341 complaints were filed.

There are around 265,000 guest labourers who have valid work permits and around 500,000 illegal workers. Egyptians make up around 60 per cent of the guest labour force in Jordan, according to the ministry.

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