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ECONOMIC CRISIS

Protesters block roads around Lebanon as labor strike kicks off

Protesters block roads around Lebanon as labor strike kicks off

Roads blocked by protesters in Dinnieh on the morning of Jan. 13, 2022. (Credit: OLJ)

BEIRUT — Roads were closed Thursday across Lebanon as a general strike called by the land transportation unions and the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers kicked off at 5 a.m., in protest of deteriorating living conditions.

Here’s what we know:

    • L'Orient Today's correspondents across Lebanon report that the number of people participating in the strike is relatively low, however several roads were closed around the country as of Thursday morning.

    • According to Lebanon’s Traffic Management Center, roads were closed in Karantina, Nahr al-Kalb, near the Kuwaiti embassy and in Bechara El Khoury in Beirut. TMC also reported that sections of the highway leading to Sur were closed, in Zahrani and Khaldeh, Bhamdoun and Aley in Mount Lebanon. L’Orient Today’s correspondents said roads were also closed in Saida, Tripoli and Akkar. 

    • In a press conference Wednesday, the head of GCLW Bechara al-Asmar said that the strike will take place from 5 a.m until 5 p.m. Asmar claimed that “many agreements have been made with officials on public sector and transport allowances, none of which has been implemented despite the approval of the prime minister in the presence of the concerned ministers.”

    • “Our gatherings will not be only for hours, it will continue until our demands are met,” the head of a union in the North Chadi al-Sayyid told L’Orient Today’s correspondent in Tripoli. Employees of the Municipality of Tripoli also participated in the protest in sympathy with the land transport drivers.

    • "Today is the start of anger," said the head of the land transport unions Bassam Tleis in an interview with Voice of Lebanon radio, as he stressed that his union will take other measures in the future without specifying their nature. This mobilization is "against the government which has not kept its promises to support the road transport sector," Tleis, who is affiliated with the Amal Movement, added.

    • Employees of many public and private institutions were advised to stay home today, and yesterday Education Minister Abbas Halabi issued a statement calling on educational institutions to close. 


BEIRUT — Roads were closed Thursday across Lebanon as a general strike called by the land transportation unions and the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers kicked off at 5 a.m., in protest of deteriorating living conditions. Here’s what we know:    • L'Orient Today's correspondents across Lebanon report that the number of people participating in the strike is relatively...