New centre provides services to Jordan garment workers

An ILO-supported workers’ centre offers legal services, job skills training and improves work-life balance for thousands of garment workers in Jordan.

A multi-purpose workers’ centre will open its doors to thousands of garment workers employed at Al-Hassan Qualified Industrial Estate in Irbid’s Qualifying Industrial Zone on Wednesday (October 9). The centre will provide workers access to supplementary job services, recreational facilities, legal advice, as well as mental health and counseling services. Facilities include a computer lab and a canteen while services on offer include job skills training and cultural orientation for newly-arrived migrant workers. Jordan’s first National Workers Center Association has been formed to oversee operations at the centre.

The launch of the centre is supported by the Better Work Jordan (BWJ) programme which aims to improve the lives of tens of thousands of workers by driving sector-wide, sustainable improvement in adherence to Jordanian labour law and the ILO Declaration on the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, as well as promoting the competitiveness of the Jordanian apparel sector within the global supply chain. Financial support for the centre also came from USAID, the Al-Hassan Qualified Industrial Zone Authority, apparel factories at the Al-Hassan Qualified Industrial Estate, the garment workers’ union, and international brands.

Better Work Jordan is a joint initiative of the International Labour Organization and the International Finance Corporation established in 2008. At BWJ’s inception, suppliers enrolled in the programme voluntarily but in March 2010 the Ministry of Labour decided to make BWJ as a mandatory programme for exporting garment factories and their subcontractors. This decision was made effective in July 2011.