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Lebanon Bank Employees Threaten to Go on Strike, Ask for Security Protection

Lebanon Bank Employees Threaten to Go on Strike, Ask for Security Protection

Friday, 3 January, 2020 - 11:45
Protesters demonstrate outside of Lebanon Central Bank during ongoing anti-government protests in Beirut, Lebanon, on November 11, 2019. Andres Martinez Casares, Reuters

Bank employees in Lebanon threatened to go on strike, rejecting what they described as organized attacks by people who claimed to be representing anti-government protesters, and demanded that the security forces protect them.


“The attacks are organized by people who claim to represent the civil movement (that started on Oct. 17) with the aim to distort the image of the banking sector, which is a clear violation of the reputation of the Lebanese state that is responsible for protecting all citizens from any threat against their safety and security,” said a statement by the Council of the Federation of Syndicates of Bank Employees.


“Security agencies must protect banks against any assaults by depositors, otherwise banks will have to declare a general strike until stability is restored in their branches across the country,” the statement added.


Groups of activists had recently held sit-ins in some banks in Beirut, as part of a campaign aimed at recovering depositors’ money and rejecting restrictions. In some of the cases, employees and managers were forced to pay money to depositors under the pressure of the sit-ins.


“What happened in a number of bank branches is a direct assault on the banking sector, which represents a national value; it is also a violation of the prestige of the State, which has the duty to protect all citizens from all those who violate their security and safety,” the Council underlined.


It went on to say: “Chaos caused by these organized attacks on bank branches will not alleviate the suffering of the depositors, who have the right to object according to the applicable laws. These exceptional measures have been taken temporarily by the banking departments in order to preserve the continuity of the work of the banking sector.”

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