Several hundred striking government workers protested in front of the Prime Minister’s headquarters at the Grand Serail in Beirut on Monday, September 25, and Tuesday, September 26. Organized under the Union Coordination Committee (UCC), demonstrators demanded an increase in wages for government workers and teachers to match the rising cost of living throughout Lebanon.
Many government offices and public schools are closed during the strike, and will remain so until Thursday, September 28, at the earliest, when the government is set to discuss the budget crisis in further detail.
Public school teachers have not received an increase in salary since 2012. Government workers and teachers were set to receive a wage increase under a new tax law, but the law was ruled unconstitutional in September due to its formulation without a set budget. The government is currently seeking ways to finance the wage hike.Lebanon has not had a working state budget since 2005, and has a public debt approaching 150 percent of GDP.
Individuals should anticipate an increased security presence as well as localized transportation disruptions in the area of the protest. Individuals are advised to monitor the situation and strictly avoid all protests and rallies due to the possibility of violence.
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