Lebanon News

Sidon public workers strike over wage stagnation

Municipal workers protest in Sidon, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)

BEIRUT: Sidon’s municipal employees and Ogero workers carried out separate strikes Thursday, claiming to be among the numerous public departments that have not received pay rises in line with a new law. The municipal employees demand a raise by three salary grades, which was granted to all members of public administrations in article 17 of the salary law passed last year.

The strike reportedly paralyzed the Sidon municipalities’ various departments and was attended by Sidon Mayor Mohammed Saudi.

Head of the municipality’s Syndicate of Workers and Employees Ali Tawil said the rally was a “warning strike” and that the municipality was already implementing all provisions of the law but issues remained.

Separately, employees of state-run telecoms company Ogero held a strike in Sidon in protest of wage stagnation, in the latest development in a monthslong dispute.

The strike reportedly took place in all of Ogero’s Sidon branches and in other areas of southern Lebanon, including Nabatieh.

Truck drivers in the south also protested. Workers blocked the entrance to the regional Ogero headquarters in the center of the city, defying calls to end the strike by the company’s executive board, which had called for strikes earlier this month.

The Finance Ministry failed to approve a draft salary scale adjustment for Ogero workers that was endorsed by the Telecommunications Ministry and submitted more than a month ago.

Ogero’s executive board began holding strikes in repsonse on Feb. 15 and 16.

The strikes have continued since then as workers’ demands have remained unmet.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 23, 2018, on page 2.

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