BEIRUT: The Union of Truck Owners at Beirut Port suspended its strike Tuesday as members await the outcome of meetings with officials to meet their seaport work demands.
“To keep our promise to [caretaker] Public Works Minister Ghazi Aridi and officials at the port, the union suspends its strike, awaiting practical and tangible results,” a statement by the union said.
It added that the suspension came as a result of meetings held separately between the union's delegation and Aridi and head of security at Beirut Port.
Officials listened to the concerns of union members who argued that the increase in container traffic at the port and the short working hours of the customs inspection personnel have delayed transportation of goods.
Truck drivers claim they wait several hours for customs to clear the goods, decreasing their daily transportation trips.
The union’s strike which began Monday has caused heavy traffic at Beirut’s entrances.
"I understand the reasons behind the strike which came as a result of pain and pressure given the accumulated work that has recently increased at Beirut port,” Aridi told reporters.
Aridi said ministries of interior, health, agriculture, economy and industry should shoulder their responsibility to meet the demands of the union, saying his ministry is looking into its own shortcomings.
Aridi said a meeting will be held Monday morning at Beirut Port to discuss the demands with concerned authorities.
The volume of goods at the port has tremendously increased this year after traders shifted away from importing goods through land routes because of the Syrian crisis.