(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Employees of the Central Electricity Generating Company (CEGCO) continued to strike for a second day on Wednesday, after a meeting with the company's management and Minister of Labour Maher Wakid failed to produce an agreement.
Ali Hadid, president of the Electricity Workers Union (EWU), said the proposals presented by the minister so far have not been able to satisfy both the company and the employees, who are seeking an increase in their salaries and benefits.
"We are going on with the strike until they meet our demands. Wakid is still contacting both sides to resolve the dispute," Hadid told The Jordan Times over the phone yesterday.
The EWU president stressed that there would be no power outages as the company's night shift workers are working all day to provide people with electricity.
Khaled Azzam, a member of the EWU and an employee at CEGCO, said the night shift employees have not complained of overwork.
"If we find that some employees are tired, we will immediately help them. For example, in Aqaba when we noticed that the night shift employees got tired on Tuesday, we provided them with 10 more workers," he told The Jordan Times outside the company's premises in Amman, where CEGCO staff had pitched a tent and gathered to demonstrate.
Azzam said the basic salary raises the employees were demanding were only fair.
"I am paid JD750 although I've been working at the company for 28 years. We are against the new system that the company is applying this year and we demand that salary raises be tied to inflation," he told The Jordan Times during the strike.
The new salary scale system the company is applying gives employees raises in accordance with their performance, the company's CEO, Abdul Fattah Nsour, said previously.
Azzam, however, said the new system was not fair, alleging that raises would be governed by favouritism rather than merit.
"The company cannot apply such a system because we are working in groups, not individuals," the father of six added.
But Nsour said on Tuesday that the company and the employees would benefit from the new system because it would give raises to the employees who deserved it.
Rani Masarweh, another employee at the company, explained that the striking workers also want their cost of living raises increased from JD20 to JD60.
"I've been working at this company for 10 years and I am paid JD450. I cannot even get married because I cannot meet the costs of living on such a salary," he noted.
Nsour said previously that in the past five years, the employees' salary scale had been increased by 72 per cent.
Mustafa Ghassoun, an operation supervisor, said most employees face several kinds of hazards while on the job and should be granted fair salaries in return.
He also called on the company to change its health insurance coverage system.
"We want the company to cover the full cost of our health insurance. They deduct 4 per cent monthly for health insurance coverage and if we want to go to the doctor or get a medicine from the pharmacy, we have to pay 15 per cent of the bill," he noted.
The employees stressed that they would not return to work until the company meets their demands.