BEIRUT — A union of employees at state-run supplier Électricité du Liban (EDL) said Friday that it has suspended a strike that began earlier in June after a meeting with top EDL directors, "who were positive about the union's demands, and sympathized with the difficult financial, living and hospital conditions that EDL workers and employees are suffering from.”
The strike began last week but has yet to impact already scarce state electricity provision throughout the country.
The union said in its statement Friday that EDL's board of directors, chairman and members, took the following decisions:
- Specifications will be drafted to find a new medical insurance company within one month. The current insurance company will also expand its network of hospitals and laboratories that employees and workers can access.
- A mechanism will be established to provide financial support to EDL employees. The project will be presented to the board of directors at its scheduled meeting on July 4 for approval.
- Employees will benefit from reduced electricity tariffs. This demand had already been accepted by the Finance Ministry as of June 12.
The public electricity supplier has faced significant financial and structural difficulties since the start of the crisis in 2019.
EDL's Beirut headquarters has also been out of service since suffering significant damage in the Aug. 4, 2020 port blast.
EDL employees' salaries match those of other categories of civil servants. Calculated in Lebanese lira these salaries have still not been adjusted to account for the currency's steep decline. The supplier has also been plagued by political clientelism.