Jordan's electricity strike comes to an end

Published April 17th, 2012 - 07:52 GMT
Employees had been on strike since April 3 to demanding higher salaries and cost of living raises, hazard pay and improved health insurance coverage
Employees had been on strike since April 3 to demanding higher salaries and cost of living raises, hazard pay and improved health insurance coverage

A dispute between the Central Electricity Generating Company (CEGCO) and its employees was resolved on Sunday after a two-hour meeting at the labour ministry.

CEGCO employees had been on strike since April 3 to demand several benefits, including salary and cost of living raises, hazard pay and improved health insurance coverage. In Sunday’s meeting, Minister of Labour Maher Wakid, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Qutaiba Abu Qura and representatives of CEGCO and the Electricity Workers Union (EWU) managed to agree a solution that satisfied both the company and the employees, said Ali Hadid, the president of the EWU.

According to Hadid, employees with salaries under JD800 will be granted a JD30 basic salary raise and a JD50 cost of living allowance, while employees paid over JD800 will receive a JD15 raise and JD25 for cost of living. In addition, the company’s health insurance plan will now cover the same level of accommodation in hospitals for all employees.

The EWU president said all employees resumed work on Monday. Meanwhile, Jordanian Electric Power Company (JEPCO) workers are continuing a strike they began on April 8, amid efforts to resolve their dispute with the company’s management, said Ahmad Meri, president of the employees’ independent union.

He said that representatives of the company had met with several deputies at Parliament on Sunday to discuss the workers’ demands, which include four months bonus salary each year, end-of-service allowances, better health insurance and transportation services for all workers. “Since the beginning of our strike, this is the first meeting that has been held to discuss the issue,” he told The Jordan Times over the phone Monday.

Meri alleged that MP Mohammad Maraayeh (Southern Badia), JEPCO Director General Marwan Bushnaq and legal counsel Ziad Khasawneh, who represented the company, hurled plastic water containers at each other during the meeting. This claim, reported on several local news websites, could not be verified.

Neither Maraayeh nor Bushnaq was available for comment, despite several attempts by The Jordan Times to contact them. Meri said that another meeting would be held at Parliament on Tuesday at 12:30pm to resolve the issue.


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