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Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam workers called off strike

Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam workers are now reportedly back to work
Government pledged to address their demands

Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam
Photo : EBC

September 3,2018

Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam workers called off their strike after nearly a week, reported state broadcaster Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC).

Workers at the project site were on strike since August 28 demanding for pay raise and better living condition in the project site which is located in an area of arid climatic condition.

They demanded the government to fix issues related to maladministration, provision of poor meal and payment which they claim is unfair. Based on information from striking workers, there has been no pay raise since the project was launched some seven years ago.

Striking workers are mostly under Italian Construction Company, Salini Contractors. And there are other contractors working in the project, like METEC.

Officials of Ethiopian Electric Power and Project Managers have been negotiating with striking workers and an agreement has been reached, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation cited Misikir Negash, who is the public relation director of Ethiopian Electric Power Authority, as saying.

The report added that a committee is established to address to demands of the workers.

Over $4 billion worth of Ethiopia’s grand project over the Blue Nile, which has caused controversy with Egypt, was intended to be completed within ten years. Based on recent speech by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, it is unlikely that the project will finish within intended timeframe.
METEC, Ethiopian government owned contractor, is reportedly part of the problem in the delay of project completion.

Simegnew Bekele, project manager of GERD, was found dead inside his car at Meskel Square in the center of the city on July 26 as Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was on his way to the United States to meet with Ethiopians in three US cities.

“They can kill Engineer Simegnew. But they cannot stop completion of the Dam,” Abiy told Ethiopians in the United States.

The Ethiopian government is yet to disclose the findings of an investigation into the death of Engineer Simegnew Bekele while Ethiopians are impatiently waiting for it.

The Ethiopian government vows that the project will be completed no matter what.

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