Middle East

UN Palestinian agency strike in Jordan suspended

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (R) and Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh attend a news conference after their meeting in Istanbul on April 13, 2012. (AFP PHOTO/ADEM ALTAN)

AMMAN: The staff of the UN Palestinian refugee agency in Jordan said on Wednesday they have suspended their open-ended strike for better pay after reaching a government-mediated deal with management.

"We have decided to suspend the strike following mediation by the Jordanian government," a joint statement by UN Relief and Works Agency employees said.

"Under the agreement reached with management, a 50-dinar ($70) raise will be paid retroactive to January 1, 2012, by the end of this month," it added without elaborating.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh announced the deal at a meeting with MPs after parliament urged government mediation to end the dispute and backed the demands of the striking staff.

The majority of UNRWA's 7,500 employees in Jordan began the strike on Sunday after management failed to meet their demand for a $140 salary raise.

The strike forced UNRWA's 172 schools in Jordan to close, affecting 123,000 pupils.

UNRWA cares for about five million Palestinian refugees in the Middle East, more than two million of them in Jordan. The agency has made a $344 million emergency appeal this year.





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