Jordan unions strike over proposed tax law

Jordanian unions staged a nationwide strike on Wednesday (June 6th) over IMF-backed austerity measures, including a proposed income tax law that has sparked a week of demonstrations, AFP reported.

Doctors staged a walkout from hospitals at 9 a.m., said Ali al-Abous, head of Jordan's doctors' union and trade union federation.

"We are striking to send a message to the new government (to) drop the income tax draft law and hold a national dialogue on it," he said.

Lawyers were set to be present at courts, but would not present cases, he said.

Jordan's main federation of unions also called for a protest outside its headquarters at 1 p.m.

Protests continued overnight despite King Abdullah’s call for a full review of the proposed tax law, which has yet to be approved by parliament.

Trade unions on Tuesday said a review of the law was a "positive" step but nonetheless called for a general strike on Wednesday.

In a letter charging new Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz with forming a government, Abdullah said it "must carry out a comprehensive review of the tax system" to avoid "unjust taxes that do not achieve justice and balance between the incomes of the poor and the rich".

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