The head of the Land Transport Association in Lebanon, Bassam Tlais, announced, on Tuesday, the suspension of a strike in the public transport sector, which was scheduled for Wednesday.
This came after Tlais met with Prime Minister Najib Mikati, in the presence of Ministers of Finance Youssef Khalil, Public Works and Transport Ali Hamiyah, and Interior Minister Bassam Mawlawi, according to a statement by the Prime Minister’s Media Office.
“It was agreed on the issue of support for the land transport sector, and its implementation will start from the beginning of next December,” Bassam Tlais said, according to a statement by the prime minister.
“The government and the relevant ministers are seeking to find funding sources,” Bassam Tlais said in the statement.
The statement did not provide details of the agreement.
The President of the General Labor Union in Lebanon, Bechara Al-Asmar, participated in the meeting.
The statement quoted Al-Asmar as saying that “the transportation problems are reflected on 90 percent of the Lebanese people, who are no longer able to use private or public transportation because of the exorbitant cost of fuel.”
The Minister of Interior demanded, “The General Labor Union and the Land Transport Union give the government a month to do everything necessary, starting from tomorrow,” according to the statement.
On Tuesday morning, the federations and unions of the transport sector in Lebanon announced that tomorrow, Wednesday, will be a “day of anger”, punctuated by strikes and protests against low wages and high fuel prices.
The cost of transportation in Lebanon has risen to an unprecedented level, whether by private cars or public transportation such as taxis and buses, as a result of rising fuel prices more than 12 times within a year.
Two years ago, the Lebanese suffered an unprecedented economic crisis that led to a collapse in the value of the local currency against the dollar, which was reflected in a decline in their purchasing power and a record rise in poverty rates.