File - Lebanese taxi drivers take part in a strike in Dora, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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A new regulation issued Monday will penalize Lebanese taxi owners who rent their vehicles to Syrian nationals without proper documents, according to the head of the Public Transportation Drivers Union Marwan Fayyad.According to Fayyad, Lebanese taxi drivers are motivated to lend their vehicles to Syrian nationals because owners benefit financially from car rental fees while still receiving social security.Separately, Labor Minister Sejaan Azzi reiterated his call on all Lebanese firms and employers to give priority to Lebanese citizens over other nationalities for job opportunities.In comments made by phone, Azzi stressed that he was merely reminding employers of the Lebanese labor law and not enacting new policies. Lebanon's labor law clearly states that priority should always be given to Lebanese citizens in the employment process.In this vein, Azzi said the ministry had received many complaints from former Lebanese workers enraged that they had been sacked for less expensive Syrian workers.
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