Lebanon Businessnews News

Public workers call for a weeklong strike
Union protests downsizing the
salary scale
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Civil servants announced a full strike starting today (May 8) and ending on May 14, in protest against the proposals made by a parliamentary committee on the salary scale draft law. Public and private schools as well as public institutions and ministries were called on to join the strike. 

The union representing civil workers said that Members of Parliament have reduced the funding of the salary scale from $1.9 billion to $1.2 billion. “We ask that wages be revised fairly, which is 18 years overdue,” the union said.

The MPs proposed 24 different levies to collect about $1.2 billion annually, of which $700 million will be collected by taxing household consumption and fees on formalities and services, which represent about 60 percent of the revenues. Taxes on real estate, banking, trade, and maritime properties represent around 40 percent of the suggested revenues. The union said that it opposes taxes that affect low-income families. It called for imposing taxes on banks and the rich and to reduce the squandering of public money.

The union called for adjusting salaries by 121 percent in all sectors including retirees without altering the salary scale, retroactively from July 1st, 2012. The union also called for filling vacancies in the public administration that has reached around 70 percent, according to it.

The union protested against the proposed extension of office hours until 4 p.m during the first four days of the week. Work on Friday would remain until 11 a.m, and Saturday would be off.

The union will organize a sit-in on May 12 and 13 in all governorates, ministries, and public administrations. General assemblies in schools will also have to vote on boycotting official exams. 

Reported by Rania Ghanem
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Date Posted: May 08, 2014