SCC to Hold Another Strike Tuesday as MPs Race to Finish Studying Pay Raise Draftإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Syndicate Coordination Committee warned on Monday of a “strong reaction” if the new wage scale was implemented in installments or not according to its conditions, as joint parliamentary committees are racing to finish studying the draft this week.
The SCC also announced a general strike on Tuesday in all public administrations, as well as in public and private educational institutions.
“The coalition of decision-makers and finance giants are insisting on not issuing the new wage scale to harm the public sector and to transform the situation in public administration into a state of feudalism,” SCC official Mahmoud Haidar said at a press conference.
"Why did the prices go up and are still increasing without any supervision with or without issuing the new wage scale?” Haidar asked.
He continued: “All talks about the state's incapability and about educational institutions actually revising our salaries just distort reality. Private teachers have not been paid what compensates for the increase in prices until now.”
He added: “And all talks about reform in administration are not true. We are asking for opening the door of employment and stopping the signing of contracts. The state should also respect the implementation of the Labor Law, the payment of transportation fees, health benefits, and the hourly rate for contract workers.”
He stressed that the SCC will not accept to be paid the rights it is demanding “at the expense of the poor or at the expense of students' families.”
“We are fighting together to impose taxes on the finance giants,” he stated.
Haidar assured that the SCC will not change its stance on raising salaries by 121 percent without any installments, while preserving the retroactive effect.
“We announce our total rejection of any formula that is issued by parliamentary committees if it does not take into consideration the 121 percent raise of salaries without any installments, decrease or division. We will not back down regardless of the sacrifices and all formulas suggested are going from bad to worse.”
He considered that the pay raise should be financed through imposing taxes on sea-side properties, and through drawing an end to corruption and halting bank interests.
Haidar then announced a general strike on Tuesday.
“Tomorrow should be a day to strongly respond to issuing the new wage scale and it should reflect the unity of syndicates against those trying to draw a limit to its activities,” he said.
“We reiterate our calls for a general strike tomorrow in all public administrations, public and private schools and in vocational institutions. We call for solidarity with the strike and for participating in the protest that will kick off near the Central Bank in Beirut will head towards the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and end at the parliament.”
Meanwhile, Head of the private schools teachers association Nehme Mahfoud called on private schools to take part in Tuesday's protest.
“Tomorrow there is a general strike, and I tell private school in (the southern city of) Sidon that the strike is for teachers, not for headmasters,” he noted.
Addressing lawmakers, he said: “Let them save the country from a social explosion and let them refer a new wage scale that preserves historical rights.”
A ministerial-parliamentary committee is expected to submit its report on the wage hike this week, amid a renewed warning by public sector employees that they would not accept compromises.
The committee was formed after lawmakers failed to approve the draft-law, angering the SCC.
It is studying ways to find the appropriate revenues to fund the hike.
The SCC is demanding a 121 percent salary raise that would be effective retroactively. It has also rejected proposals for the extra money to be paid in installments.
Many MPs and the Economic Committees, a grouping of businessmen and owners of major firms, fear that the pay hike would have a devastating impact on the economy and lead to a depreciation in the Lebanese pound.