The employees from Lebanon’s two state-run media outlets have launched a two-day strike in protest against the deteriorating working and living conditions.
The employees of the National News Agency (NNA) and Radio Lebanon, both affiliated to the Ministry of Information, were joined by some staff members of the Ministry in the strike which was observed on Thursday.
They declared in a statement that the strike would continue and the rest of the Ministry’s employees would also join them on July 22, if those concerned failed to take positive steps to solve their problems, Xinhua news agency reported.
A general assembly was called on Thursday to discuss the worsening living conditions and find solutions that would allow state media employees to fulfill their duties in light of their straitened economic conditions, the NNA reported.
The assembly was held in the presence of caretaker Information Minister Ziad Al-Makary, and Heads of the Ministry’s units, departments and directorates.
Al-Makary advised that a committee be established to represent all of the employees and meet with the concerned officials to find solutions.
Since 2019, Lebanon has been suffering from an unprecedented financial crisis that resulted in the collapse of the local currency. Hit by intertwined political, economic and health crises, Lebanon’s poverty rate now has risen to more than 74 per cent, according to the World Bank.
Earlier this month, United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon, Najat Rochdi said in Beirut that Lebanon’s crisis was affecting everyone, everywhere across the country.
She said that almost one-third of Lebanon’s labour force is unemployed, and that the minimum monthly wage in the country has currently become less than $25, resulting in a significant decline in income and purchasing power.