BEIRUT — The union of employees of the state-owned telecommunication company Ogero announced Saturday the suspension of its strike, effective immediately until the next cabinet session.
Workers downed tools March 24, demanding improved working conditions as the country falls deeper into economic collapse.
As a result of the strike, several parts of the telephone network were out of service in recent days, while internet and telephone outages were reported in several areas.
Contacted by L'Orient-Le Jour, an Ogero spokesperson said that technical teams began today, Saturday, to repair equipment failures behind the outages.
"There are no major breakdowns. Only seven of the 404 stations the operator manages are malfunctioning," he said, offering reassurances that repairs will be completed "as soon as possible."
"These failures are not related to difficulties in supplying fuel to the generators that operate the exchanges," he explained, while noting that this is a frequent problem for the public operator, confronted by lack of funds to acquire fuel. The spokesperson hoped that the Mikati cabinet's next meeting will find a "serious solution" to these problems.
In its statement, the union's executive council said that the strike had "had the intended impact at the local and regional levels, and even with international trade union organizations, and reflected on the country's predicament."
The statement went on to say that "after caretaker Telecom Minister Johnny Corm called on Cabinet to meet and endorsed the plan of reforms and demands advanced by Ogero staff's union — and in order to avoid some fishermen in troubled waters from taking advantage of the situation to threaten national security and divert our demands — the executive council announces the suspension of the strike from today until Cabinet meets, "
Ogero's executive council stated that it will act on the conclusions of this meeting.
A source close to the caretaker prime minister confirmed to L'Orient-Le Jour earlier this week that Najib Mikati intends to convene Cabinet next week.
'The claims of employees are fair'
According to the National News Agency, Corm responded to this announcement by commenting that he will continue to work "to achieve the desired results in this matter," ensuring that "the claims of employees are fair."
He called Cabinet to meet "immediately to approve" these demands, adding that he will meet Monday with the union of Ogero employees to establish a practical roadmap.
Corm had urged employees to suspend their action Wednesday, which he described as "precipitous," and even suggested Lebanese Army soldiers assume the duties of Ogero staff.
For its part, the union representing public servants at Ogero requested Saturday that any government decision taken vis-a-vis Ogero's striking employees also apply to the utility's public servants.
"The rights of workers in the telecoms sector (Ogero, mobile telephone providers Alfa and Touch, and the telecommunications ministry) are linked," the committee said in a statement. "If they have to go on strike to access the right to a living wage, the civil servants of the ministry of telecommunications will not hesitate to follow in the footsteps of Ogero employees."
BEIRUT — The union of employees of the state-owned telecommunication company Ogero announced Saturday the suspension of its strike, effective immediately until the next cabinet session.Workers downed tools March 24, demanding improved working conditions as the country falls deeper into economic collapse.As a result of the strike, several parts of the telephone network were out of service in...