Air traffic controllers to strike at Beirut airport

A MEA airplane takes off from Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut, Friday, March 28, 2014. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: With the exception of official flights and emergency cases, inbound and outbound flights from Rafik Hariri International Airport will be suspended for two hours starting Tuesday at 10 a.m. due to a strike by air traffic controllers. Air traffic controllers are demanding a wage hike as the government discusses an increase in the salaries of public servants.

“The committee of air traffic controllers is organizing a strike Tuesday to remind officials of its demands as they discuss the enactment of a new salary scale,” a statement released by the committee said.

The committee warned the government of further strikes if it failed to meet their demands.

“After officials failed to meet our demands following several rounds of talks and positive discussions, we had no choice but to resort to options that we have long avoided,” the statement read.

The strike by air traffic controllers will happen a day before a major protest being planned by civil servants and teachers in order to pressure the government to refer the new salary scale to Parliament.

Strikes last year by the Union Coordination Committee, representing public sector employees and teachers, crippled work at government offices and public schools.

The Parliament has been stalling the passage of the new salary scale that was approved by the Cabinet last year, arguing that it needs more time to study means of financing it.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on March 31, 2014, on page 5.




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