Levant storm and Liban strike: Lebanon sinking into darknes
A strike by electrical workers in Lebanon coupled with poor weather is causing more blackouts than usual
Lebanon is sinking into darkness, warned Electricite Du Liban Wednesday, reporting scores of additional failures across the country as ongoing strikes delayed repairs.
“As the storm accelerates, failures have been increasing exponentially on electricity networks across Lebanon, including administrative Beirut,” the state-run electricity company EDL said.
“A large number of medium-voltage lines have failed in addition to scores of failures occurring on low-voltage lines. This led to power cuts in a big number of areas and subjected others to harsher rationing,” it added.
The accumulation of failures, EDL added, would likely slow down after the end of the strike, scheduled for Friday.
“We apologize for our inability to provide electricity for reasons outside out control,” the statement said, calling on workers to return to work.
EDL employees launched a three-day strike Tuesday to protest against reduced and canceled allocations in the 2013 EDL budget as submitted by the Finance Ministry.
Head of the workers association told The Daily Star earlier that the budget cuts slashed several worker allowances such as bonuses for night shifts, work in high-risk environments, overtime work and meal allowances.
The EDL workers association said the lack of any “positive signs” from the Finance Ministry prompted it to uphold the strike.
“We call on workers and employees not to conduct any repairs,” a statement said. “We are in a strike and workers should refer to the association in case of the need to isolate networks threatening public safety,” the association added.
The association blamed the Finance Ministry for any damage to citizens.
“The ministry slashed and canceled the budget items related to the living of workers and this will deny them their legitimate rights guaranteed in several decrees, particularly no. 7410,” it said.
Meanwhile, the part-time workers at EDL warned that they will reoccupy the company’s headquarters Monday after the management and the Energy Ministry failed to make them full-time employees.
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