A picket for demands commemorates International Workers’ Day

“Lift the siege on the right to work for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon”The Coalition of the Right to Work Campaign for Refugees was held on the 1st May stressing on the right to work for Palestinian refugees and on rejecting the unjust laws that prohibiting them from work.

The Palestinian-Lebanese Coalition for the Right to Work Campaign for Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon, led by Association Najdeh, organized a sit-in on the 1st of May (Labor Day). Representatives of the local NGOs, syndicates, Palestinian and Lebanese political parties, and a huge crowd of people participated in the set-in in front of the building of Al Azarieh Riad El Solh Street in Beirut.

Labor Day coincides with the strike of hunger of the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. This is what distinguishes this year’s celebrations as a day of struggles and uprisings for rights and freedom.

Speaking on behalf of the coalition of the right to work campaign, Mr. Khaled Abu Sweid, paid tribute to the workers of the world and saluted the Palestinian and Lebanese workers in Lebanon. He called on the Lebanese government to fulfill its obligations with regard to the amended laws, especially with regard to Article 59 of the Labor Law and Article 9 of the Social Security Law, that were not yet been implemented.

The Coalition thanked the new Minister of Labor, Mr. Mohamed Kabbara, for issuing a memorandum exempting the Palestinians from the 10% allowed for foreigners in institutions. He called for further amendments that improve the economic and social living conditions of Palestinians on Lebanese land. And to legislate the right to work in all free professions and to benefit from all social security benefits.

He mentioned that the Palestinian labor force does not compete with the Lebanese labor force as it does not exceed 5% of the total labor force in Lebanon. Young people are the most affected by the Lebanese “discriminatory laws”, which form the largest percentage of the unemployed (56%). Despite the Lebanese legal amendments concerning the right to work for Palestinian refugees, they do not meet the minimum demands and rights of the Palestinians.

The Lebanese-Palestinian coalition for the right to work campaign has not only been able to bring about legal amendments, but also to eliminate the discriminatory view of the right of Palestinian refugees. The Palestinian is a major contributor to the economy in Lebanon.