Public Sector Strike Leaves Lebanese Newborns Unregistered

Arab News

Civil workers in Lebanon have been on strike for more than a month and a half to protest the terms under which they must work amid the ongoing Lebanese financial crisis. They demand a correction of public sector salaries and an increase in the value of social benefits. 

The open strike has impacted the country, crippling many aspects of the Lebanese lives, including getting documents to apply for travel visas and completing the process of buying and selling cars has become even more difficult, if not impossible. 

That is in addition to threatening the country’s food security as food imports remain unprocessed at Beirut Port.

The strike has also had consequences for families with newborn babies as it has made it impossible to register newborns. 

With about tens of thousands of public workers on strike since June 13th, hundreds of Lebanese newborns have been left undocumented.

According to the Minister of Labor in the caretaker government, Mustafa Bayram, the daily losses caused by the strike are estimated at $400.000. There have been attempts to settle the issues with the public employees, but many of them refuse to stop the strike before their demands have been met.

The purpose of the strike includes obtaining family support, medical subsidies, and education.

According to the director of the Association of Public Administration Employees, Nawal Nasr, the strike will continue until a fair and equitable result has been reached for the workers. 

The over 90% devaluation of the Lebanese Lira since 2019 has made the monthly minimum wage fall from the equivalent of $450 to merely $23.

Strikes have been many these past weeks across various sectors in Lebanon, and not only by civil workers, as the Lebanese seek to pressure the state for due reforms and urgent solutions to their economic predicament.

Related: Lebanon’s Everyday Life: Open Strikes And Frustrated Citizens.

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