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Lebanon: Lebanese workers protest against unfair competition by foreign workers

East Lebanon workers protest 'unfair' foreign competition, 6 January 2017

Around 20 workers in an east Lebanon town Friday protested against the influx of foreign workers who they say have stripped them of their livelihoods. Blue collar workers demonstrated in Ras al-Ain in the city of Baalbeck to demand the government put an end to "unfair competition," the National News Agency reported. "Lebanese workers can no longer find jobs or provide for their families due to the foreign competition, as foreigners accept [lower wages]," local official, Mukhtar Mohammad Awada said. He added that foreign have been receiving aid from donor countries and the United Nation, which is not being used to stimulate the Lebanese economy through spending, and instead are "competing with Lebanese workers."… Lebanon’s economy and infrastructure have been heavily impacted by the Syrian conflict and resulting surge of refugees. There are currently 1.1 million Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon with the U.N. refugee agency, although the Lebanese government estimates the figure to be around 1.5 million. Former Labor Minister Sejaan Azzi had continuously lashed out at local and international companies in Lebanon for laying off around 10,000 Lebanese in favor of "foreigners."… In August, the Labor Ministry announced that it would take stricter measures against forced layoffs to replace Lebanese with foreigners.

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