BEIRUT — The land transport unions will go on strike Thursday and organize sit-ins throughout the day to condemn “the government’s failure to comply with a set of agreements that were put forward back in October and should have been rolling out by now,” the unions’ head Bassam Tlais told L’Orient Today on Monday.
Here’s what we know:
• During a meeting held at the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers’ headquarters Monday, Tlais announced that since the government did not comply with the set of agreements that were put forward in October, including the implementation of support for the sector starting Dec.1, 2021, the union will initiate strike action on Thursday.
• In October, the land transport unions announced that they would begin a general strike to condemn skyrocketing fuel prices as state subsidies on the commodity came to an end, but just hours later the union suspended the action after meeting with Prime Minister Najib Mikati and other cabinet representatives, including Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi, and agreeing to give the government some time to find solutions.
• During the meeting, Mawlawi said that with Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s approval, he would submit a law that exempts land transport drivers from paying the yearly mechanic fee for their vehicles. Mawlawi then said that he had asked the union leaders to suspend their strike to enable Lebanon to avoid “an unexpected security situation.” Tlais at the time said that the government representative also agreed to work on establishing a fuel voucher system for land transport drivers, which would be rolled out in December.
• In November, Public Works and Transport Minister Ali Hamieh said during a meeting with GCLW head Bechara Asmar that a proposed public transportation plan spanning the “entirety of Lebanese territories” is awaiting approval from the World Bank.