BEIRUT — Lebanon's public sector employees in will extend their strike until Feb 24, civil servants from the League of Public Administration Employees said in a statement Saturday.
The employees will remain on strike “to demand salary increases and that the caretaker government take other measures to help them cope with deteriorating living conditions,” the statement said.
The League called for increased salaries and compensation “in line with inflation” and not at the former official exchange rate of 1,507.5 lira to the US dollar. The lira is currently trading above LL77,000 on the parallel market.
Civil servants are also asking for an increase in their retirement pensions and an immediate increase in their medical, social assistance and transport benefits. They are demanding that the government “provide employees with fuel vouchers commensurate with the distances" employees must travel to their place of work, "or the equivalent of 10 liters of gas.”
Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government has already approved several measures to support civil servants, including increased transport allowances and exceptional assistance to civil servants of all categories. Since 2019 Lebanon has been undergoing the worst financial and socio-economic crisis in its history.
Public employees argue that the government's proposed measures are insufficient, as the national currency has lost more than 95 percent of its value since the crisis erupted, pushing more than three quarters of the population into poverty.