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Midroc Workers Resume Strike—Say Company Set New Precondition

By Dawit Ketema, The Daily Monitor (Addis Ababa), 25 March 2001

Addis Ababa—MIDROC construction workers had on Tuesday March 20 agreed to end a-26 day-long strike. After a promised agreement failed to be signed on paper, the workers are reported to have resumed with the strikes.

During negotiations mediated by the Ministry of Labor strikers allege that MIDROC had promised union leaders that it would resolve the problems. Convinced, the workers had been back on their duties, they told The Daily Monitor.

Soon after, the union leaders reportedly demanded the promise to be put as a written agreement.

MIDROC on the other hand is said to have suspended its compliance to the demand claiming that the employees who were on strike must sign new job contracts before hand. Under the new contract, 80% of the workers who were previously employed on regular basis were reportedly asked to sign in as contract workers. According to MIDROC, this precondition is justified in that the current job contract was signed 6 years ago while the company was called ALTAD-a joint venture with another businessman-Taddele Yidnekachew. The company which hired the workers then was Al-Tad. When 5 years ago the two partners split, the workers were then transferred to MIDROC construction company. MIDROC says, for the last 5 years it has been paying workers who were employed under non-renewed contracts.

A union leader on the contrary says, the legalities hold that MIDROC should have made workers renew their contract every six months.