The General Confederation of Labor Unions, GCLU, is determined to proceed with its plans to protest against low wages and high prices despite the resignation of the government, Ghassan Ghosn, the President of the GCLU, said on Friday.
Ghosn said that the fact that the government has resigned “should have no impact on its ability to meet the demands of the workers.” He said that in this country “politicians are creative and they can fashion any formula that fits a particular situation should they choose to do so.” He said that “it is the duty of the government to meet all the demands of the workers even if it is only a caretaker government," he said.
The GCLU will meet during the second half of the month in order to set a date for the protest, which will be nationwide and include strikes, demonstrations and sit-ins, said Ghosn.
The workers are demanding that the government double the minimum wage, which currently stands at LL 500,000, ($334), subsidize the prices of fuel and impose a limit on the increase of prices, especially the prices of food.
Ghosn denied that the protest is manipulated by political parties or that the workers are split. “We are above suspicions. All workers, regardless of their political affiliations, are enduring the same hardships,” he said.
A main objective of the workers, said Ghosn, is ending monopolies. “Monopolies are what drive high prices,” he said. “We are the only country in the world where monopolies are still upheld by law and maintained by the government. If Lebanon is truly a free economy that encourages private enterprise, as the government keeps telling us, then they should abolish monopolies,” Ghosn said.