By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 16 May 2017:
A number of banks in Benghazi have agreed to suspend loan deductions from the accounts of employees of the Libyan Cement Company (LCC) until the end of the year. It follows an approach to the banks by LCC’s Human Resources department. It made the move, a statement from LCC said, in order “to ease the burden on suffering families in Benghazi”.
With the Hawari cement works out of action having been damaged in fighting and, as a result, staff receiving just a minimum wage, many of them, the statement noted, had been unable to withdraw cash from their accounts because of commitments to make monthly debts repayments.
There had been several meetings to negotiate the issue with the National Commercial Bank, Wahda Bank and Jumhouria Bank both in Benghazi and Beida, the LCC said. The banks had agreed to stop deducting the repayments until the end of 2017 after the LCC provided them with guarantees.
It is thought that some 1,400 out of LCC’s total workforce of around 2,200 will benefit from the deal. No figure is available for how much in involved, but but it is said that, individually, the deductions represent a substantial portion of each employee’s salary.
The agreement follows the news that the Beida-based interim government is continuing to pay LCC employees the LD 450 minimum wage that is going to staff of a number of foreign-run companies currently not operating.
In the LCC statement, Ahmed Ben Halim, chairman of the Joint Libyan Cement Company, its parent company, thanked the banks for the move and said that the LCC was doing all it could to reopen the Benghazi factories, recaptured in April last year. This, though, would take at least a year given the extensive damage to them.