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Lebanon News

Civil servants to strike every Wednesday

BEIRUT: Civil servants waving placards during the protest march.

BEIRUT: The civil servants league called Friday for a weekly strike until Parliament passes the new salary scale, blaming the consequences on the lawmakers’ negligence.

“[We announce] a general strike on every Wednesday of every week in all ministries, administrations, governates, public institutions and municipalities until the approval of the ranks and salaries scale,” the union’s board of directors said in a statement after meeting.

“The [Union Coordination Committee] hopes not to reach the many escalatory steps it can take.”

The group also highlighted that fighting corruption in state administrations was a top priority.

It warned “the corrupt [people] that are harming the administrations, and those who are engaging in acts of bribery,” that it would expose their names and the identities of those who support them.

The statement reiterated that the civil servants refused to accept any decrease in the wage increase or any increase in the working hours, demanding a wage hike equaling those given to judges and Lebanese University professors in 2012.

Economist Ghazi Wazni had told The Daily Star Thursday that “every day of strike by the civil servants and government employees will cost the treasury $18 million in lost taxes."

Wazni explained that according to figures by the Finance Ministry, tax revenues reached around $6.5 billion in 2013. Spread out over the 365 days in a year, that means the state could lose around $18 million in tax revenue for each day that a strike takes place in all government departments.

"[We condemn] the indifference of Lebanese officials toward the people's causes and their rights, and their negligence of the ranks and salaries scale issue that affects more than one third of the Lebanese population," the union statement said, blaming the disruption of institutions on Lebanese politicians.

 

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