Lebanese Workers Threaten Massive Strike Action
The Lebanese government could face a barrage of strikes from water, utility and port workers on Monday if it does not endorse higher salaries and benefits, union leaders warned on Thursday, reported the Daily Star newspaper.
The confederation of independent utilities and public institutions, which includes 6,000-7,000 workers, is planning a one-day strike on Monday if the government does not implement a three-year-old agreement to raise workers' salaries and increase benefits, said the paper.
Unions making up the confederation, including Beirut Port and Beirut municipality workers, are also planning or threatening separate strikes over benefits and overtime pay issues.
The confederation said the government had turned a blind eye to the agreement between the union and government officials, said the paper.
After a stormy meeting at Beirut Port, secretary-general Beshara Asmar said that the union was insisting that the ranks-and-salaries scale set three years ago for 4,000 water authority employees be implemented, that the workers receive transportation and educational benefits, and that retirees get medical cover.
"Some employees have been working in the water authorities for more than 40 years and have not been able to benefit from the scale, while some relatively new people are," Asmar said.
The confederation said that if the minister of electricity and water resources Suleiman Traboulsi, failed to put the agreement into effect, he would be faced with thousands of workers on strike, the Daily Star said - Albawaba.com
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