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Photo of sanitation workers loaded in back of truck spark social media outrage

By Muath Freij - Sep 03,2015 - Last updated at Sep 03,2015

Greater Amman Municipality sanitation workers ride a bus to head to their work locations (Photo courtesy of GAM)

AMMAN – A photo of sanitation workers transported in the back of a truck sparked anger and criticism on social media outlets on Thursday.

In this undated photo shared on social media websites,  sanitation workers are seen loaded in the back of a truck

The photo was shared by many social media users. Its date and source are unknown, but the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) said it is an isolated incident, stressing that sanitation workers are transported by buses.

Naser A. Bataineh posted the photo on Facebook with a caption calling for better conditions for the workers.

“Unfortunately this is how they transport the country’s workers... the ones who are the reason that Amman has been described as the cleanest Arab capital.”

Doaa Masri (@DoaaMasri) also echoed Bataineh’s sentiment.

“This is how the municipality transports the country’s workers! We are waiting for a clarification from the municipality. Their dignity is our dignity,” she tweeted.

Adel Suleiman (@AdelSuleiman) said the act was “uncivilised and socially unacceptable”.

On its social media accounts, GAM posted photos of modern buses transporting sanitation workers with a caption in Arabic: “The country’s workers are going to their work areas.”

Basem Tarawneh, deputy director for districts and environment affairs at GAM, said the photo that caused outrage was an isolated incident, stressing that the municipality offers suitable work conditions for all its employees.

“This happened on Jordan Street. What really happened was that the driver decided to transport a number of sanitation workers in a truck originally used to carry broken tree branches to a location that was only 200 metres away. 

“He wanted to save time because he would have had to wait long for the proper buses to take the workers,” Tarawneh told The Jordan Times over the phone on Thursday.

He added that GAM offers incentives to sanitation workers in recognition of their important role.

“During the past two years, the workers received a JD30-salary raise; we changed their uniform and provided them with suitable and safe shoes. 

“The workers were also given a three-hour break in the peak hours during the heatwave that affected the Kingdom,” Tarawneh said, urging social media users not to ignore the positive aspects of GAM’s work.

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