BEIRUT — After meeting with Prime Minister Najib Mikati and other cabinet representatives, the land transport unions and the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers suspended their general strike scheduled to take place on Wednesday, agreeing to give the government a month to meet their demands.
Here’s what we know:
• The land transport unions and GCLW announced Tuesday afternoon that a series of marches would take place in and around Beirut as part of a planned general strike to protest the increase in fuel prices after the effective removal of state subsidies on fuel and to demand fuel vouchers for land transport drivers.
• After the Tuesday evening’s meeting, Interior Minister Bassam Maalawi said that with Mikati’s approval, he will submit a law that exempts land transport drivers from paying the yearly mechanic fee for their vehicles. Maalawi added that he had asked the union leaders to suspend their strike to enable Lebanon to avoid “an unexpected security situation.”
• The head of GCLW Bechara al-Asmar told L’Orient Today that the unions will follow up on their demands and have only postponed their strike to give the government some time to find solutions. He assured that the strike will be rescheduled if the government fails to meet the unions’ demands.
• Head of the land transport unions Bassam Tlais meanwhile said that the government representative also agreed to work on establishing a fuel voucher system for land drivers, which would be rolled out in December.