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RJ employees protest decision to fire colleague

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Mar 27,2016 - Last updated at Mar 27,2016

Protesters demonstrate against the Royal Jordanian administration near the airline's headquarters in Amman on Saturday (Photo courtesy of Zuhair Maharmeh)

AMMAN — Around 200 protesters held a demonstration on Saturday near Royal Jordanian's (RJ) headquarters to protest the airline's "arbitrary" decision to terminate the services of employee Zuhair Maharmeh.

"He [Zuhair] violated RJ's internal system by writing things that badmouth and offend the company's administration and the General Trade Union of Workers in Air Transportation and Tourism on social media websites, which is why he was fired," RJ spokesperson, Basil Kilani, told The Jordan Times over the phone on Sunday. 

Maharmeh, former assistant manager at RJ's cargo claims department, served at the company for 13 years before losing his job for criticising a decision to raise health insurance premiums for RJ employees in comments on Facebook.

But Kilani said health insurance subscription fees did not increase for employees, noting that the raise will be covered by the company, while some medical conditions are no longer covered by the insurance.

Maharmeh, who claimed that his Facebook comment was about the General Trade Union of Workers in Air Transportation and Tourism, the authority responsible for defending workers' rights, met with the heads of RJ departments on March 24 and received the letter of termination of services.

"I felt horrible when I realised I was fired and when I looked at the letter, I saw that it was signed on March 22, which means that I had been already fired when I went to the meeting," Maharmeh told The Jordan Times in a phone interview. 

When his brother came to pick him up, an altercation ensued with the managers, taking an ugly turn.

"I threw my shoe at [Khalid Al] Masri, [head of HR and administration at RJ], but it was a reaction in the heat of the moment,” Maharmeh claimed. 

 

Security eventually removed him and his brother from the premises.

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