The Lebanese revolution led to the removal of the cloak of fear. Most Lebanese have decided to take a stand against injustice and corruption that surrounds us. With so much of it around, Lebanese people are revolting for their rights. The telecommunication sector has been under much scrutiny, and rightly so. Touch and Alfa employees have decided to join the ranks and ask for their rights.
The telecommunication sector is one of the most profitable in Lebanon. Its revenue to the Lebanese government budget is estimated at 1,920 billion LBP. This sector is in the hands of the Parliament and the Cabinet. Thus, they control any modifications or improvements to it.
On Tuesday, November 12, Touch and Alfa employees declared an open strike. Dekwane was packed with employees from both companies. Both declared an open strike until all their rights have been restored.
This strike came after Telecom Minister Mohamed Choucair informed the employees that they will not get the annual salary increase owed to them. The minister also stated that the ministry cannot guarantee the safeguard of their rights and benefits as per the already agreed upon collective work contract.
Both companies have closed their doors leading to the halting of business in both headquarters including the call centers both during the day and night shifts.
This protest came after seven months of negotiations with the ministry. Employees gathered during the working hours from 8 AM to 5 PM outside their companies to protest.
The protesters are calling for the renewal of the contract with the preservation of their rights and benefits as it was in previous years. They are refusing the 30% reduction of their annual income, which would have a devastating effect on them constituting the breadwinners of 2000 families.