The big companies’ abuse taking advantage of the crisis is also extended in Arab countries
The Arab and Western media do not pay attention to this insult to the democracy
My last day in Jordan I learnt that although the economic crisis has reached a point of unsustainable recession in Spain, other places outside the Western countries also suffer the abuses of the multinational companies. Walking through Amman the 3rd of December 2013, I passed by Rainbow Street, and between the Second and Third Circle, I stumbled upon a mass of people protesting against Jordan Telecom Orange company. My natural curiosity brought me to see what the protest was about, since I had no knowledge of any demonstrations were taking place in Jordan, not for political nor economic nor social reasons.
When I just approached the crowd, the organizer of the protest came to me and asked: “Sahafiya?”, which means “Journalist?” in Arabic. I replied “Na’am” a definitive yes, instead now I am working in Online Marketing, because journalism is something that is carried in the blood even when you are not working currently for any media. His name was Omar Manaseer. He explained that many of the employees of Orange Telecom in Amman were victims of privatization that had recently been taken place and affected a total of 3,500 employees of the company. In particular, young people below 32 years were the most affected by the situation, which has become unsustainable for the delay in the payment of salaries and other abuses that are unfortunately so common in huge multinationals.
The protest organizers had a van and a megaphone to revive the force of their words, and dozens of banners to give echo to their protest. I climbed to the roof of the van to take some pictures with my iPhone, as my DSLR had broken the second day of my trip. What I found most striking was the huge number of police surrounding the protesters, protected by helmets and guns. There were more police than demonstrators, something surprising since they defended their rights very peacefully and respectfully. The protesters came up to me with respect and education to express their frustration and helplessness, and their wives, also their mothers accompanied them. There is no funding enough to ensure the basic rights of employees, but there is to arrange a huge mass of police forces fully equipped as if the protest was a war.
I just hope and wish that the situation of victims of Jordan Telecom Orange is normalized very soon and they could work under the conditions that any democratic country should ensure for its citizens.