EDL’s part-time workers protest over delay in salary payments

Workers at EDL close the company's main gate during a protest in Beirut, Sunday, July 1, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Contract workers at Electricite Du Liban blocked the main entrance of the state-run company’s headquarters in Beirut Monday in protest over several months’ delay in receiving their wages.

“We took the step to protest the procrastination in paying our salaries. EDL is responsible for paying all salaries and benefits,” Bilal Jaouk, a member of the EDL part-time workers follow-up committee, said during the protest.

Jaouk said part-time bill collectors have not received their salaries for five months, while full-time workers have not received payments since May. He said that the part timers would keep protesting peacefully, and would not harm the permanent EDL employees.

He assured that the workers do not intend to engage in any employment negotiations with private service providers hired by EDL to conduct maintenance and bill collection, works they previously conducted.

Head of the committee Mohammad Fayad called on Parliament to pass a draft law allowing the part timers to sit for a restricted employment exam.

The committee agreed to allow all part-time workers to sit for the test, but Energy and Water Minister Gebran Bassil insisted that only 700 full-time employees are needed in the first phase and another 200 in the second.

The Parliament has yet to pass the draft law prepared by the committee.

Bassil has threatened to resort to the Shura Council if Parliament passes the draft law.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 03, 2012, on page 5.




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