Lebanon Businessnews News

Public transport one-day strike on February 28
Call for law enforcement, amending traffic law
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The Confederation of Public Drivers and Transport Unions will hold a one-day strike on February 28. Private communal transportation drivers across all regions are expected to join in. Meetings arecurrently being held in Chtaura and other regions to organize the event. Bassam Tleis, Head of the Confederation, said the strike aims to pressure the Cabinet into implementing a number of laws and decisions in the interest of the sector.

The Confederation will raise three major demands: the implementation of the public transportation plans, the implementation of the pertinent laws and the prosecution of violators, and the amendment of the new traffic law.

“We worked for over seven months with the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation to set a comprehensive transportation plan that was approved by the Cabinet, but nothing has been done yet,” Tleis said. The plan calls for organizing the transport sector, providing parking lots for buses, establishing efficient coordination between the public and private transportation sectors, and providing incentives to drivers.

Tleis said the sector suffers from the absence of law enforcement. The Cabinet had urged security forces to arrest taxi drivers with forged license plates, “but we haven’t seen any arrests so far,” Tleis said.

The Confederation also complained about the traffic law approved by the Cabinet late last year. “In addition to the numerous typos in the document, many items were copied from French and Canadian laws which do not apply here,” Tleis said. One of the more conspicuous faults in the law concerned annual mechanical fees for trucks. “It stated that LL25,000 should be paid for each one kilogram (of the truck’s weight), this means a truck that weighs ten tons would incur a fee of LL250 million,” Tleis said.
The Confederation threatened to go on an open-ended strike if the Cabinet does not respond to its demands.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
Date Posted: Feb 11, 2013
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