Here’s how a teacher’s union won huge raises in Jordan. Here’s why they can’t keep it.

Here’s how a teacher’s union won huge raises in Jordan. Here’s why they can’t keep it.

By Comrade Hash

Amman, Jordan – In October 2019, the Jordan Teachers Syndicate won its demands for 50% raises for its 100,000 members after a month-long strike. Although this sounds like a happy ending, this was just the beginning.

The Jordan Teachers Syndicate is one of the largest unions in the country, and the strike was called after the government tear-gassed teachers while they were protesting for better wages.

Just like Palestine, Ferguson, and Minneapolis, corrupt government sell-outs turn to chemical weapons to try and prevent people from fighting against the colonial systems that exploit them.

This strike lasted for one month and was the longest ever public strike in the country’s history. Over 1 million students were unable to attend school, but still, the masses of people supported the striking teachers, and some families brought them food!

Mansaf, the Jordanian national dish as a gift to the striking teachers: #WithTheTeachers

To some, this might seem like a reason to celebrate: a large union of public education workers, a successful strike winning 35-75% raises, mass support, and in a nationalized government-run industry too! What’s missing? 

Unfortunately, this is not enough to hold the corrupt sellouts accountable: in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic, when teachers need help the most, Jordan’s neocolonial government decided to break its promise for increased teachers’ wages, leaving teachers stunned and angry.

Now, in August 2020, thousands of protesters are once again taking to the streets.

 

Colonialism is behind all exploitation.

It’s not enough to rely on union organizing without also building dual contending power, structures other than capitalism. Without revolutionary organization to push out colonialism and it’s sellout offspring, the rights of Colonized working-class people will always be reversed.

Although Jordan technically gained independence from British colonization after WWII, the ruling monarchy has continued to act as submissive neocolonial sellouts, allowing the continued theft of the country’s lives, labor, land, and resources.

Right now, Jordan is suffering from an economic crisis, and not just because of the Coronavirus. Since colonial powers started the recent war in neighboring Syria, Jordan has to deal with housing refugees while also suffering from decreased income from things like tourism.

As a result, the Jordanian government has turned to the International Monetary Fund for cash to survive. In return for money, the IMF always demands “austerity” –  stealing money from poor people through increased taxes, and raising prices for basic things like bread.

Thousands of Jordanians are protesting at night in Irbid city to demand the release of the teacher s’ union council and rejecting new procedures against it.

This is how imperialist neocolonialism works. Colonizers start wars, which leads to economic crises, which means that corporations can exploit Colonized workers for cheap. When our homelands, our entire lives are being torn apart by genocide, we become too shocked to organize in response.

Only revolution will improve our lives

Not only did the sellout Jordan government cancel the teachers’ raises, but they also jailed 13 of the union’s leaders and raided the union headquarters. This shows that the neocolonial sell-outs understand that organized power is the actual threat.

The teachers don’t just deserve better wages; they deserve absolute control over their labor, lives, and resources. They deserve to put an end to the colonial and neocolonial plunder.

Even though the teachers have the support of the masses, what they’re missing is a revolutionary organization to arm themselves and the masses with an anti-colonial strategy. 

There needs to be an organization devoted to liberating colonized poor and working-class people by ending colonialism, which is the root of all problems.

Through the unity of the masses and a revolutionary organization, they can build dual contending power to defeat colonialism.

The Jordanian Coalition of National and Leftist Parties issued a statement demanding the release of the imprisoned union leaders. Still, who will step up to integrate the teachers union into one of these anti-colonial revolutionary parties?

Union activism and mass support are powerful, but alone they can’t bring governments to their knees. Unless there is also a revolutionary organization, whatever victories unions achieve is quickly reversed.

It’s simple: if you want to end exploitation, help organize the anti-colonial revolution. A strike will win you a temporary raise, but only revolution against colonialism will let you win the full wealth of your labor, land, and resources.

Land back!

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