Lebanon Businessnews News

Cost-of-Living Index Committee on the job again
Seeking to amend
wages by mutual consent
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The Price Index Committee reconvened on March 26, after a long halt. The committee agreed on recommendations to study and audit statistical numbers available from the Central Administration of Statistics (CAS) about the cost of living. The meeting has been a key demand for the General Confederation of the Labor Unions (GCLU). The committee also discussed taking into account both the rights of workers and the capabilities of employers, especially in light of the unstable economic situation, to raise wages.

“The demands of the workers are always legitimate, but due to the ongoing crisis in the country, it is vital to preserve the survival of companies that have been enduring losses since 2011,” said Nicolas Chammas, Chairman of the Beirut Traders Association (BTA). He said that Economic Bodies will study the CAS indicators, among others, because any decision taken will have serious repercussions.

“Recession results from the drop in the purchasing power, especially that there is a decrease in the number of tourists. This hinders other sources of income from entering the market,” said Ghosn.

“The committee will be meeting again in two months to study and measure the increase in the cost of living, as well as the drop in the purchasing power in order to amend wages accordingly,” said Ghosn.

The committee also agreed on limiting the number of foreign workers in the local market. Ghassan Ghosn , Chairman of the GCLU said: “We asked the Ministry of Labor to take a firmer stance when granting work permits to foreigners, in order to avoid competition.”

Concerning public employees, a joint meeting will be held between the concerned Parliamentary committees to decide on the salary scale for the public sector. The challenge is to finance it without adding to the tax burden.
Reported by Rania Ghanem
Date Posted: Mar 27, 2014
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