Electricite du Liban contract workers officially announced on Friday the end of their three-month strike and the resumption of work at the company after striking a deal with the government.
“We will end our strike and the committee will continue to hold meetings to follow up the implementation of the deal,” Lebnan Makhoul,a member of the EDL contract workers committee, told reporters during a press conference at the General Labor Confederation headquarters.
For his part, head of GLC Ghassan Ghosn said that “we will immediately implement the agreement and end the sit-in at EDL's headquarters in Mar Mikhael in Beirut.”
He cited the 5-point agreement between the contract workers and the government that includes the company’s payment of the contract workers salaries till the month of July, the full time employment of some contract workers by sitting for a closed exam as called for by a draft law approved by the parliament, according to the vacancies at EDL, giving those who don’t qualify to become permanent employees the financial compensations in exchange for their 10 or 20 years of service at the company and transferring the rest to private-service providers, forming a committee from AMAL movement, Hizbullah and al-Marada movement to modify the draft law which was approved by the parliament.(daily star)
TV footage showed several workers opening the main gate and launching fireworks and firecrackers at EDL’s headquarters in Beirut marking the end of the contract workers’ strike.
The workers also removed the tent that they erected inside the company’s premises.
But celebrations turned sour after reports emerged among the contract workers saying that the Distribution Department is not involved in the deal, prompting an employee to vow to continue the strike and briefly closing off the main gate again.
Others stressed that the department was included denying those reports.
“The deal struck between the government and EDL contract workers includes the Distribution Department in all regions and mainly Mount Lebanon and Beirut,” Ghosn told the contract workers gathered at the company’s headquarters.
Several officials reassured the workers, denying the reports, which prompted the end of the strike.
The contract workers have been demanding the company to pay them their June and July salaries and their full-time employment.
Earlier, An Nahar newspaper reported that an agreement was signed to end the crisis by advisor of Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Hussein Khalil, Speaker Nabih Berri’s advisor Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil and Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun’s son-in-law Energy Minister Jebran Bassil.
However, al-Akhbar newspaper reported that the settlement led to a rift between the contract workers as some voiced their support to the deal while others rejected it.
“The contract workers fear that the cabinet might not hold onto the implementation of the agreement as the deal didn’t set any execution date,” the daily said.
Earlier in July the parliament endorsed a draft law approving the permanent employment of the workers, but the matter created a rift between Berri and Aoun as 80 percent of them are Shiites.