Lebanon Businessnews News

Labor elements complain to ILO
GCLU and economic bodies call for immediate resolution of transportation allowances
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The General Confederation of Labor Unions (GCLU) and the economic associations filed on February 21 two separate complaints to the International Labor Organization (ILO) protesting the conduct of the government and the Ministry of Labor regarding determining the minimum wage and inflation rates.

The GCLU and the private sector both said that the Ministry of Labor has violated the standards of the ILO and the relevant Lebanese laws endorsing the freedom of contract between employers and employees.

According to Ziad Bekdache, vice president of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists, the appeal to the ILO was in protest against the interference of the Ministry of Labor in determining salaries and social benefits. The Association of Lebanese Industrialists wrote in its letter to the ILO president that the Ministry of Labor has disregarded the agreement reached between the GCLU and the private sector in January. It called on the Cabinet to adopt the decree for transportation and education allowances, or formulate a new law for these allowances in line with the consensual agreement.

A new law for transportation and education allowances for employees is expected to be voted on in Parliament. Two competing draft laws have been submitted. The first draft, proposed by member of the Future bloc, MP Nabil de Freij, is in line with the agreement between the economic associations and the GCLU. The second draft law is submitted by Change and Reform bloc MP, Ibrahim Kanaan.

Bekdache said that the private sector economic bodies back the draft law submitted by MP Nabil De Freij. He said that while De Freij’s proposal kept the social benefits allowances out of the basic salary, Kanaan’s draft called for including these benefits when calculating the end-of-service compensation.

The president of the GCLU, Ghassan Ghosn, said that the GCLU supports whichever draft law gives workers their full rights. Ghosn said that the deal between the GCLU and the private sector is final.

This is the first time the GCLU and the private sector have reached an agreement on wages and social benefits. The two simultaneous complaints also mark the first such move by the two labor elements.
Date Posted: Feb 22, 2012
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