BEIRUT: Numerous private institutions announced Tuesday their intention to join Wednesday’s first private sector-led general strike in years.
Oil importers said they would stop delivering fuel across Lebanon for the day but gas stations said they would individually decide on whether to join the action organized by the Economic Committees, a body representing private sector institutions.
Some of Lebanon’s biggest businesses associations, including banks, industrialists and traders, have already announced their intention to close down for the day in statements issued over the past week.
The Economic Committees say the strike is aimed at pressuring Lebanon’s political parties to agree on forming a Cabinet to support the economy, which has seen alarming deterioration.
“We are partners with the Economic Committees and we support their action Wednesday. ... We call on members of the association to stop working on the day,” Dana Nakad, head of the Oil Importers Association, said in a statement.
The news that importers will stop delivering fuel was met with support from the Association of Gas Station Owners, who nevertheless stopped short of announcing closures.
“We support the decision [to suspend fuel deliveries] for one day but we will leave it to the owners of gas stations to express their views as suitable.”
The Association of Restaurants last week called on members to close down for three hours in solidarity with the Economic Committees.
A group describing itself as the Economic Committees’ branch in Nabatieh in south Lebanon said Tuesday they would not join the strike.
“Some of the personalities supportive of the strike are looking for ministerial positions in future governments. The strike will not benefit small traders,” a statement said.
Yet, the city’s traders association said shops would be closed. The majority of traders associations with the exception of a group representing Badaro shop owners have pledged to close down.