General Strike and Protests as SCC Slams Parliament’s Failure to Approve Wage Scale

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The Syndicate Coordination Committee held on Wednesday a protest near the education ministry in Beirut’s UNESCO area to pressure MPs into approving the pay hike.

Similar sit-ins were held near government headquarters in different cities, including Tripoli, Tyre and Zahle, a day after the legislature failed to decide on the wage scale.

Beirut’s protesters unleashed their rage at several lawmakers, who on Tuesday voted in favor of a proposal to form a parliamentary committee to reconsider the draft-law.

They criticized al-Mustaqbal MP Fouad Saniora, who had made the proposal, and Lebanese Forces lawmaker George Adwan for making a suggestion to postpone parliamentary discussions on the pay hike draft-law for 15 days.

Several parliamentary blocs have expressed fears that Lebanon’s economy would collapse if the appropriate means to fund the pay hike were not found.

The parliament’s move angered the SCC, a coalition of private and public school teachers and public sector employees, which called for a nationwide strike on Wednesday.

Several SCC officials warned at the UNESCO protest that public school teachers would boycott the correction of official exams if their demands were not met.

Another speaker promised not to back off, saying “our next encounter is after the Easter holidays,” which start on Friday and last till Monday.

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