EDL service providers give ground to try to break the strike
The three service providers agreed Wednesday to drop a clause stipulating a three-month probation period in contracts being offered to EDL’s part-time workers.
“After we received some clarifications from Electricite Du Liban, we decided to drop the probation period phrase from the contracts,” Fadi Aboujaoude, general manager of Butec Utility Services, one of the service providers, told The Daily Star.
According to Aboujaoude, around half of the 2,000-plus part-timers had already signed the contracts since Monday, when the companies started signing up workers after a political settlement ended a 95-day strike.
Political sides pledged that workers who failed an EDL employment exam would receive end-of-service benefits from the state-run company.
The settlement also arranged for the payment of three months of delayed salaries to workers.
Over the past few days, the companies and part-timers’ representatives wrangled over the controversial clause, with the workers arguing it would risk their right to permanent employment.
The companies had insisted the contracts being offered were permanent, adding that they would offer National Social Security Fund enrollment to the workers from the start date of their employment.
Meanwhile, part-time workers in Baalbek protested over the closure of EDL premises in the city.
The workers reiterated that they would step up their demonstrations if the service providers do not guarantee permanent employment and offer them end-of-service benefits.
The protesting workers also called on Parliament to pass a law to offer part-timers a chance at full employment at EDL.