Jordan: Global solidarity in response to the dissolution of education union and harassment of teachers and unionists

published 26 October 2021 updated 13 October 2023

Education International launched an urgent action appeal calling for affiliates to show solidarity with colleagues in Jordan and a campaign with LabourStart in response to the dissolution of the Jordanian Teachers’ Association (JTA) and the massive dismissals of teachers, including 14 JTA leaders.

The Jordanian security forces arrested and detained the leading members of the JTA on World Teachers’ Day, celebrated on 5 October. Riot police were deployed to stop peaceful demonstrations held to denounce the ongoing government crackdown on trade union rights.

Education International’s urgent action appeal

Education International launched an urgent action appeal on Jordan, protesting the dissolution of Jordanian Teachers’ Association, the dismissal of teachers, and the obstruction of union work.

For Education International, the “criminalisation of legitimate trade union activities including marches and demonstrations is unacceptable. JTA used the opportunity of World Teachers Day to denounce their continued judicial harassment. It also asked for the lift of all barriers preventing teachers from exercising their right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.”

It went on to note that “the Jordanian government has been using emergency laws enacted during the pandemic to judicially harass union members, teachers, and education workers. Employment regulations for civil servants have also been diluted to make it easier to terminate their employment. At least 65 teachers have been forced to retire early.”

The JTA was dissolved on 31 December 2020 by the Amman magistrate court. On 29 September 2021, the Attorney General rejected the appeal filed by the JTA against the union dissolution and one year imprisonment of all 14 JTA board members.

Via the urgent action appeal, Education International invited member organisation to call on the Jordanian authorities to stop the harassment of the JTA and confirm the right of all teachers in Jordan to join the union of their choice and to express their opinions on education policy.

The global union community demands an end to the persecution

“As educators, as unionists we stand firmly with the JTA and their right to speak, organise, and advocate for their students without being harassed and arrested! The global union community demands an end to the persecution,” stated Education International General Secretary David Edwards.

Jordanian education unionists also received support from the International Trade Union Confederation and the International Transport Workers' Federation.

Take Action: Join the Education International, LabourStart campaign

Together with LabourStart, Education International also launched a campaign calling on unionists, activists and citizens around the globe to protest the dissolution of the Jordanian Teachers' Association and the dismissals of teachers.

You can sign the petition here