UNRWA staff in Jordan go on open-ended strike
AFP, Sunday 6 May 2012
Employees at Palestinian refugee agency take action after management refuses to grant improved pay and conditions

The majority of Jordan's 7,500 staff at the UN Palestinian refugee agency began an open-ended strike on Sunday after the management failed to meet their demands for better pay and conditions.

"The employees started their open-ended strike today after talks with the management failed," a top UNRWA official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The UN Relief and Works Agency employees, including teachers and medical staff, "have been demanding a $140 salary raise, and they do not want their annual bonus cut," the official said.

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

It comes a week after UNRWA's staff staged a one-day strike, after which the management called for dialogue to resolve outstanding issues.

UNRWA cares for some 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.