Teachers in Lebanon Strike for Better Pay
Lebanese teachers participated on a one day strike today calling for improved wages and benefits.
Beirut - About 100,000 Lebanese school and university teachers observed a one-day strike Thursday in a move aimed at improving their salaries and benefits. Private and public schools as well as universities were closed because of the strike, keeping almost 1 million students at home.
The teachers strike came four days before another strike organized by the General Labor Confederation, a union representing all workers.
Many Lebanese have been subjected to enormous economic hardships over the past few years as their country, and economy, has been rocked by Israel's 2006 offensive on Hezbollah, assassinations and political turmoil. A variety of labour groups have expressed their determination to improve benefits, pay and other employment conditions.
Teachers' wages have not risen since 1996. Their union is calling for a wage increase and is also seeking rises to offset inflation.
The teachers union said it was aware of the difficult situation the country is facing amid a severe political crisis but emphasized that the strike is motivated by factors independent of politics. The strike, it said, is rather a call for teachers to demand their social and professional rights.