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Conflict Incident Report
EDL contract workers protest delayed full-time employment pledges
BEIRUT: Electricite du Liban contract workers rallied outside the company's main headquarters in Beirut's Corniche al-Nahr, setting trash cans on fire.
The contract workers blocked access to the customer service gate, warning of escalatory acts.
Security forces deployed heavily in the area.
Since 2012, contract workers have been employed by private service providers KVA, BUS and NEU – companies brought on board to carry out EDL services.
Both sides reached a deal in 2012, when the government promised to hire workers if they passed an entrance exam. After 140 contract workers passed, however, none were hired.
According to the terms of the agreement, those who passed the tests should be reclassified as permanent employees with full company benefits.
The workers have staged a number of strikes and sit-ins in recent years to protest what they view as unjust treatment.
EDL depends heavily on contract workers to carry out maintenance work and collect electricity bills.
The government has instituted a hiring freeze in a bid to reduce spending in public departments. However, experts warn that the government will eventually be forced to replace the aging staff at EDL.