Lebanese public sector workers go on strike

The Public Sector Employees’ Association has announced a general strike until their demands are met.


Beirut- As Lebanon has been suffering from the worsening economic crisis, the Public Sector Employees’ Association has announced a general strike until their demands are met.

"Strike is a national duty"

"We are public sector employees, who serve in the name of the Lebanese government, but the Lebanese government ignores all our demands,” Amani Basma, a Ministry of Agriculture employee, told NUJINHA, “Two years ago, we endured a painful process.  We began to voice our demands in our workplaces. Then, we held sit-in protests and staged one-day or two-day strikes across the country but our demands haven’t been met yet.

Two million Lebanese pound is equal to 70 dollars

Pointing out that there are four categories of the public sector employees in Lebanon, Amani Basma said, “For instance, the wages of the employees of the Ministry of Agriculture are one million and seventy thousand pounds to two million pounds. Two million Lebanese pounds is now equal to 70 dollars. This is unacceptable and insufficient to meet our basic needs. A can of gasoline cost more than 690,000 Lebanese pounds, which means it cost more than the minimum salary in Lebanon.”

"The economic crisis affects our mental health”

Speaking about the impact of the economic crisis on the mental health of public sector workers, she said, “As public sector workers, we have suffered from many problems. We do not have job security and stability. The working environment in the public sector has dramatically deteriorated. The economic crisis affects both our mental and physical health.”

“Women are affected by the economic crisis more”

"We announced a general strike because the employees have reached a point where they can no longer work, either financially or emotionally,” said Zahra Karaki, a public sector employee. She points out that many women are affected by the economic crisis more than men, “Apart from the money factor, I question my dignity as a woman since my wage is not enough to buy anything I need,” she added.

"We support the decision of the Public Sector Employees’ Association and the strike will continue until our demands are met,” she said.

Elissar Sabbagh, a contractor at the Ministry of Economy, told NuJINHA why she joined the strike, “Although we have worked for 12 or 15 years, our wages are less than 100 dollars. We cannot meet our needs anymore. That’s why I decided to join the strike.”

Despite the fact that the strike of the public sector workers began on June 13, no statement has been released by the government yet.