Jordan Shuts Down Teachers Union, Arrests Leaders
Jordanian authorities have arrested leaders of the country’s Teachers Syndicate and shut the union down for two years, alleging financial irregularities. The Syndicate has been a major source of friction with the government; the leaders of the 100,000-member body are seen as having strong ties to opposition parties and led a month-long strike at the beginning of the last school year over unfulfilled promises on salaries and working conditions. The agreement that brought the strike to a close included a 50% pay hike, although the government now says economic woes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic make that part of the deal impossible to honor. Prosecutors say the acting leader of the Teachers Syndicate, Nasser Nawasreh, has also been charged with incitement for comments made during a recent speech that was highly critical of Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz’s policies. The arrests and shutdown followed a raid on the Syndicate’s offices on Saturday. The union is calling for protests on Wednesday. A gag order has been placed on details surrounding the case.