EDL Contract Workers Refuse to Budge on Demandsإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Electricite du Liban contract workers vowed on Monday to continue their open-ended strike, stressing that they will not leave the company’s premises in Mar Mikhael until all their demands are met.
“We will not squander our rights,” committee of EDL contract workers said in a statement.
The statement criticized those who are accusing them of being responsible for the electricity rationing that has lately worsened across the country.
They appealed to politicians and Prime Minister Najib Miqati to “have mercy on their children” and resolve the problems halting their full-time employment.
The contract workers are demanding the company to pay their June and July salaries and for the cabinet to publish parliament’s approval of their permanent employment in the official gazette.
“After 80 days of protests, we reiterate that we will not leave the company,” the statement added.
Earlier on Monday, the Internal Security Forces deployed heavily near the company’s headquarters in Mar Mikhael after the contract employees burned tires near the building and forced the closure of the gates with trash bins.
The workers also blocked the main road leading to the southern coastal city of Tyre and Baalbek’s southern entrance with metal barriers and burning tires.
Last week, EDL approved paying the contract workers their salaries on the condition of handing over the bills and funds they refrained to give to the company since they began their protests three months ago.
The permanent employment of the contract workers created a dispute between Speaker Nabih Berri and the Christian lawmakers who lashed out at him, arguing that around 80 percent of them belong to non-Christian sects and most of them support Berri, who is a Shiite.
Energy Minister Jebran Bassil also accused the speaker of “violating the protocol” by not discussing his proposal to allow 700 contract workers to stand for an official exam, out of some 2,500 employees.
His suggestion also calls for allowing the rest to become employees at private companies under a three-month probation period as the company can’t contain all of the employees.