+1 (216) 269 3272 Pierre@profilenewsohio.com

Lebanon’s Information Ministry joins public sector strike

by Jul 15, 2022Arab News

Employees at Lebanon’s Information Ministry went on strike over poor pay on Thursday, joining a month-old public sector strike over low salaries that has affected most government offices.

The ministry oversees the state’s media outlets, including the National News Agency (NNA), that provide daily news pertaining to the crisis-hit country.

The NNA, which local and international journalists rely on for official schedules and statements, stopped publishing news from Thursday morning.

An employee at the agency, who asked not to be named, said salaries barely covered their transport costs.

“We make between two million pounds and three million pounds a month,” he said. “Three million is what our most senior employees make.”

Three million Lebanese pounds is worth a little more than $100 at current exchange rates on Lebanon’s black market.

In 2019, Lebanon began to descend into an economic crisis that the World Bank has called one of the worst in modern history.

The currency has plummeted in value by about 95 per cent, which means public sector employees — who are still compensated at Lebanon’s virtually obsolete official exchange rate — now make only 5 per cent of what they did before the financial collapse.

The NNA source said employees had not been given compensation for their transport costs in four months.

“It’s not possible — we can’t even afford to come into work anymore,” he said.

The ministry strike is scheduled to last until next Thursday, said the source, but would continue if their demands are not met.

He said ministry employees held a general assembly attended by the Minister of Information Ziad Al Makari.

“The minister met with us and asked us to give him a week to try to meet our demands. If by Thursday nothing comes of it, he said he will stand with us in open strike.”

One of the only items published by the NNA on Thursday was a statement on the strike issued in the afternoon.

“We are no longer able to bear the situation,” the statement said. “We thought for a while that we would be able to overcome [the economic crisis] armed with a sense of professionalism and national responsibility.

“But we were in front of a dead end.”

A demonstrator holds a Lebanese flag during a protest in Beirut against the fall in Lebanese currency and mounting economic hardships in March 2021. Reuters

Apple sued by women over AirTag stalking

Apple is being sued by two women who say AirTags were used to stalk them. The small trackers are designed to be placed on wallets or keys, to prevent them from being lost. However earlier this year  that several women had found unwanted AirTags tracking them. Apple...

China rolls back strict Covid rules after protests

China is lifting its most severe Covid policies - including forcing people into quarantine camps - just a week after landmark protests against the strict controls. People with Covid can now isolate at home rather than in state facilities if they have mild or no...

Our Businesses

Businesses We Endorse

Submit your event

We will be happy to share your events. Please email us the details and pictures at publish@profilenewsohio.com 

Address

P.O. Box: 311001 Independance, Ohio, 44131

Call Us

+1 (216) 269 3272

Email Us

Publish@profilenewsohio.com