Banks to Reopen Tuesday after Employees End Strike
Lebanon’s banks will reopen Tuesday after around a one-week strike by their employees, the employees’ union said.
In a statement, the executive council of the Federation of Syndicates of Banks Employees in Lebanon announced the end of the strike and said employees will resume their work on Tuesday.
Speaking at a press conference later in the day, a Federation spokesman said "it is unacceptable to say that the Federation had conspired with the Association of Banks against the Lebanese."
"The security plan presented by the Interior Ministry is sufficient to create the appropriate climate," he added.
LBCI television had reported that the re-opening decision was taken after the Association of Banks put the Federation in the picture of the Interior Ministry's security plan that is aimed at ensuring the safety of bank employees amid the turbulent situations in the country. The Association also agreed with the Union on a host of new and "unified" banking measures aimed at preserving financial stability.
Employees had cited security concerns upon declaring their strike.
Banks have been at the center of anti-government protests, as demonstrators accused them of corruption and mismanagement. They had closed with the eruption of protests on Oct. 17, opening only for a week. Depositors then rushed in to withdraw money, but banks had begun imposing informal capital controls that angered many clients and added to the turmoil, prompting the employees' strike.
On Saturday, security forces said they will boost security around banks. A day later, the Banks Association declared formal controls, limiting withdrawals to $1,000 per week, and transfers abroad to "urgent matters."