EDL workers stage sit-in. Reduced budget has almost run out - Lebanon

EDL workers stage sit-in
Reduced budget has almost run out
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Employees and contract workers of Électricité du Liban (EDL) are staging a three-day sit-in starting Tuesday October 22, 2013. The protesters are demanding additional budget transfers promised after cuts ratified by the Ministry of Finance.

“The Ministry has lowered EDL’s 2013 budget although the latter’s management had already made a number of cuts,” said Charbel Saleh, Head of the EDL Workers Union.

The Ministry of Energy and Water had promised the Union last February to resolve the matter with the Ministry of Finance and transfer all necessary funds to the management. Saleh said: “Meanwhile, the Ministry of Energy and Water asked us to spend the allocated budget as ratified. But the budget is very close to running out.”

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Energy and Water informed the Union there would be no additional budget transfers this year. The proposed transfers were supposed to cover insurance and maternity allocations, as well as overtime pay, among other compensations.

The total number of EDL staff includes 1,600 full-time employees and 1,200 contract workers. Another 450 hourly wage earners have joined three private service providers in charge of optimizing power consumption and lowering technical violations. These are BUTEC subsidiary BUS, KVA, and NUEC, a Debbas Group subsidiary.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
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Date Posted: Oct 21, 2013