(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The Ministry of Labour has referred the dispute between the Central Electricity Generating Company (CEGCO) management and striking employees to the labour court to resolve the issue.
In a ministry statement made available to The Jordan Times, Minister of Labour Maher Wakid said that he held several meetings with CEGCO management and Electricity Workers Union (EWU) representatives, but failed to resolve the dispute.
The labour court will look into the case within 30 days of the referral.
Meanwhile, the CEGCO management and the EWU gave conflicting accounts of the company's attempts to relieve its night shift workers, who have been working around-the-clock since Tuesday, when the majority of employees began an open-ended strike, to ensure that power is not turned off.
Abdul Fattah Nsour, the company's CEO, said CEGCO had made several attempts to add workers to the night shift to support the overworked staff, but the striking employees refused to allow new workers to join them, said.
The EWU, however, said that in doing so, the company was trying to break the strike.
Since the beginning of the strike, management tried to provide the night shift with extra workers and cut off the power in one of its generators in Aqaba - steps they said were meant to protect employees.
"We wanted to give the employees some time to rest by cutting power in one or two of the generating units so some employees can work and others can rest. Also, we tried to provide them with more employees because the same workers cannot handle the pressure of the daily work," Nsour told The Jordan Times over the phone yesterday.
He indicated that employees cannot work more than 12 hours without jeopardising their health and safety.
"All we care about is the safety of our employees and our equipment. We respect their strike, so we decided to send new employees to help them handle the pressure of the work," he stressed.
EWU President Ali Hadid, however, accused the company of trying to cause power cuts and blame them on the workers in order to make them look bad.
"The company's management tried several times to cut off the electricity of the generating units but the employees refused. They are trying to break our strike. We want to send a message to the whole Kingdom that there will be no power outage and if it happens, the company will be responsible for this," Hadid told The Jordan Times over the phone yesterday.
He reaffirmed that the employees will not end their strike until the company meets their demands, which include higher salaries, hazard pay, cost of living raises and a more generous health insurance package.