BEIRUT — Land transport unions head Bassam Tlais told L’Orient Today that the unions’ strike planned for Thursday will go ahead across Lebanon and sit-ins will take place at assorted locations between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Previous planned strikes by the unions have been called off last minute, following talks with Lebanese authorities, but this time Tlais said the strike cannot be averted.
Here’s what we know:
• On Monday during a press conference at the headquarters of the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers, Tlais announced that because the government has not complied with the set of agreements reached in October, including the implementation of sector support beginning Dec. 1, the union will go on strike Thursday.
• In October, the land transport unions declared a general strike to protest rising fuel prices as state subsidies on the commodity expired, but called off the action just hours later after the union met with Prime Minister Najib Mikati and other cabinet members, including Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi, and agreed to give the government time to find solutions.
• Tlais added that no meetings had been scheduled before Thursday to discuss potential solutions, noting that “nothing will stop the strike.”
• Tlais said that the time chosen for the strikes is to allow members of the land transport unions to participate in the elections on Thursday at 10 a.m held by the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers’, which “the Land Transport Unions are part of.”
The land transport unions called on “cars, buses, cargo trucks and tank trucks” in Beirut to convene at each of “Karantina, Sassine Square, Corniche Mazraa, the Kuwaiti Embassy and Kafa’at” at 9 a.m., from where they will proceed along set routes to reach Riad al-Solh. The land transport unions also called for processions to “roam the streets of “ the South of Lebanon, including Nabatieh, the Bekaa, Mount Lebanon, Baalbeck-Hermel and the North of Lebanon, including Akkar.
Tlais added that at 10 a.m. Thursday, he will deliver a statement about the unions’ next steps at Martyrs’ Square in Downtown Beirut.