BEIRUT — Phone and social media customer services at the state-run telecommunications company Ogero halted Tuesday after the Ogero workers’ union announced a strike, the company tweeted. The Ogero workers are demanding a salary increase in light of the rising cost of living, the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers clarified.
Here’s what we know:
• Announcing their solidarity with Ogero employees, the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers said in a statement published on state-run National News Agency that the strike was triggered by the “government’s continued neglect of the union’s demands, especially the failure to amend Article 49 of the Telecommunications Law No. 431 on the fate of 2,500 families who live from this vital sector.”
• The General Confederation of Lebanese Workers added that it supports “these just demands for allocating the necessary funds to run the sector and pay salaries to redress [wages of] employees and day-to-day workers, and apply laws and decrees to add transportation fees in light of a suffocating crisis affecting various categories of workers in Lebanon.”
• Despite attending their offices, Ogero employees in Baalbek closed entrance gates and refrained from receiving customers, charging telephone bills or carrying out postal services in the LibanPost section.
• Lebanon’s telecommunications companies are struggling to maintain viable services in the face of an economic crisis in which fuel and operational costs have risen dramatically.
• The financial crisis that took hold Lebanon in 2019 has seen its national currency lose over 90 percent of its value on the parallel market. Employees in various sectors, such as telecommunications, transportation and academia, have repeatedly voiced concerns about insufficient salaries, deteriorating living conditions and inability to commute due to the increase in fuel prices.