Electricite du Liban called on its employees to return to their jobs as of Monday despite closure of the company’s gates by the contract workers, who are demanding their full-time employment.
“All employees and workers at the EDL shall return to their jobs at the company’s headquarters and its branches on Monday,” the company’s board of directors said in a statement.
The statement also revealed that the board of directors will hold a meeting at EDL HQ in Beirut’s Mar Mikhael area at 9:00 am Monday.
It called on the Internal Security Forces to escort the employees and ensure their safety while entering and leaving the company’s headquarters and branches across Lebanon.
The statement pointed out that the endeavors of the “former” contract workers are impacting the performance of EDL and affecting the power feed across Lebanon.
Last week, the contract workers closed the institution and went on an open-ended strike after accusing the company’s directorate and Lebanese authorities of manipulating a law that allows all workers to become full-time employees.
The workers have erected tents at the company’s headquarters and several of its branches, and closed its doors to stop any employee from going in.
EDL Director General Kamal al-Hayek had denied that the law, which was adopted by parliament in April, allows the full-time employment of all contract workers.
The escalated maneuvers by the angered contract employees had compelled the board of directors to hold a press conference at the Zouk power plant north of Beirut.
“The law gave full authority to the EDL to decide on its needs for full-time employees,” Hayek said, noting that the EDL board of directors decided that the company needs only an additional 897 employees out of 2,000 workers.
Later, EDL contract workers lashed out during a press conference from the company’s HQ at Hayek and the board of directors, saying: “Those responsible for the deterioration of the company should be referred to the general prosecution.”
“The lawsuit filed by Kamal al-Hayek against three workers targets 2,000 employees.”
The contract workers called on the board of directors to support their cause, noting that they had no other solution but to escalate their endeavors.
“We are not criminals and we are demanding the implementation of the law.”
The contract workers described their protests as “peaceful and civilized.”
On Wednesday, the EDL administration announced that it is taking legal action against three contract workers for their recent actions at the company’s headquarters, charging them with closing the company and preventing its employees from heading to their jobs.
They have also been charged with defamation against EDL and its board of directors, as well as misleading the public through spreading false rumors.