Better Work Jordan, trade union join hands to implement strategic plan in garment sector

Two-year partnership MoU aims to improve communication and engagement with garment workers, advance sector industrial relations, and enhance worker grievance mechanism

Press release | 04 July 2022

Bolstering their partnership to advance decent work and inclusive growth, the Better Work Jordan programme and the General Trade Union of Workers in Textile, Garment and Clothing Industries (JTGCU) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the implementation of 2021-2026 union strategy.

Under the two-year MoU, the two partners will exchange expertise in strategy execution that entails objectives, such as improving communication and engagement with garment workers; advancing sector industrial relations and worker participation in collective bargaining; and enhancing worker grievance mechanism, as well as JTGCU governance and organisational capacity.

In accordance with the renewable MoU, Better Work Jordan and the JTGCU have agreed to work together for advancing workers’ right to mental and physical health. With planned support from the programme, the JTGCU will establish a mental health clinic for garment workers. Better Work Jordan intends to hold train-the-trainer courses for JTGCU staff capacity building in mental health care. The two parties will collaborate on raising worker and employer awareness of mental health issues.

Better Work Jordan, covering 88 factories and working with roughly 95 per cent of garment workers in Jordan, launched a Mental Health Project last year to help build workers’ resilience against mental health risks, ensuring that factory-level support exists, and mental health referral systems are accessible by all workers. Jordan’s garment sector employs more than 65 workers -- 76 per cent are migrants and 72 per are women.

The MoU also covers gender-based violence, as the programme intends to support the trade union in organising gender-based violence case management training for JTGCU staff, and creating follow-up procedures, including first aid and referral systems, as well as a complaints mechanism.

The two sides will cooperate on enhancing the knowledge of collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and grievance procedures among JTGCU factory-level committee members. With support from legal specialists, Better Work Jordan intends to provide workers in the sector with legal assistance and advisory services. The trade union will collaborate with these legal specialists, refer cases to them without charge, and keep records of workers referred to legal aid centres.

The MoU stipulates a plan of action that Better Work Jordan and the JTGCU will prepare, defining mechanisms and procedures required for joint coordination and collaboration, as well as roles for each party in strategy execution.

The JTGCU will benefit from advisory services offered by Better Work Jordan to enterprises registered with the programme, including training, coordinated joint factory visits, and collaboration on factory improvement plans.