4 – Systematic violations of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index

Lebanon

The ITUC does not have an affiliate in Lebanon. The Union Coordination Committee is the main national centre.

In practice

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Unionised migrant workers arrested13-12-2016

Two Nepalese migrant domestic workers, namely Sujana Rana (known as Zogana Rana) and Roja Linmbu (known as Rosie Limbaugh), have been detained by the Lebanese authorities because of their direct involvement in a campaign demanding decent working conditions for foreign domestic workers in the middle-eastern country.

The two domestic workers, both members and militants of Lebanon’s domestic workers union, were deprived of personal freedom within five days in late November and early December.

Overall, the discriminatory and retaliatory nature of the arrest of the two women is clear. They were fighting for recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. of better working conditions for the 250,000 migrant domestic workers present in the country, coming mainly from Ethiopia, the Philippines, Nepal and Sri Lanka and often suffering from physical and psychological abuse at the hands of their employers.

The trade union of domestic workers is not recognised by the Ministry of Labour25-01-2015

On 25 January 2015, six Lebanese workers submitted a request to the Labour Ministry to form a union for domestic workers, who are currently excluded from the protection of the Lebanese labour code. The proposed union would include domestic workers and others who provide care in homes for the elderly and those with disabilities, those who provide cleaning services in homes and offices, and some other similar categories.

On 25 January 2015, with the support of the International Labour Organization International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
(ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and the Federation of Trade Unions of Workers and Employees (FENASOL) in Lebanon, approximately 350 domestic workers of various nationalities gathered for the union’s founding congress. But union members said they had received no response to their request, and the Labour Minister Sejaan Azzi denounced the union as illegal, media reports said.

The 1946 Lebanese Labour Code specifically excludes domestic workers, both Lebanese and migrants, denying them protections afforded other workers. Families in Lebanon employ an estimated 250,000 migrant domestic workers, primarily from Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, the Philippines, and Nepal. Under article 92 of the Labour Code, all foreign workers are also explicitly denied the right to elect or be elected as representatives of a union.
As a result, thousands of workers have been denied the right to freedom of association freedom of association The right to form and join the trade union of one’s choosing as well as the right of unions to operate freely and carry out their activities without undue interference.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
and collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
, and there are inadequate legal safeguards for migrant workers and some Lebanese labourers, leaving them vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
The most common complaints documented by the embassies of labour-sending countries and nongovernmental groups include mistreatment by recruiters, non-payment or delayed payment of wages, forced confinement to the workplace, a refusal to provide any time off, forced labour, and verbal and physical abuse. Despite repeated public announcements by Lebanese officials that they would improve conditions for migrant domestic workers, reforms have been insignificant.

Intimidation of workers19-02-2013

In February, the Union Coordination Committee instigated a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
with the participation of the public civil servants league, public school teachers and private school teachers union to protest against the Government’s procrastination to refer the wage bill to Parliament. The Government responded by intimidating the workers through the Internal Security Forces which sent a statement to the Union Coordination Committee announcing it would take all measures necessary to keep public order during the strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
.

Hanna Gharib replaced during strike01-04-2013

Mar Elias Batina Private School in Beirut replaced Hanna Gharib, head of the Union Coordination Committee, who was leading the teacher’s strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
in March 2013. On 1 April 2013, school management decided Hanna Gharib could continue to teach at the school. Teachers had gone on a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
demanding pay increases in the public sector. The Lebanese Forces Department of Workers and Employees condemned the school’s initial decision and stated this was an attack against the entire labour movement.

Anti-union discrimination at Spinneys06-06-2013

It was reported that retail chain Spinneys, employer of 1,500 workers, dismissed three workers (Samir Tawk, Miled Barakat and Elie Abi Hanna) for being trade union members in breach of Article 329 of the Lebanese Criminal Code. The workers had asked management to comply with the increase of the minimum wage passed in February 2012. Spinneys responded by threatening workers with dismissals and dismissed Samir Tawk from the retailer’s Achrafieh branch. CEO Michael Wright is now facing charges before the Criminal Court.

Government interference30-11-2010

The government has often interfered in trade union affairs, instigating or aggravating conflicts within the trade union movement. Senior politicians have managed to have their nominees placed on the governing body of the Lebanese General Workers Union (CGTL), causing friction within the union when it opposes government policy. Union elections in January saw disputes over alleged pro-Syrian bias.

Palestinians denied many rights31-12-2010

There are approximately 400,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, which accounts for 11% of the Lebanese population. Palestinians are not allowed to form trade unions, as there has to be a reciprocal arrangement with their home state. Previously Palestinian refugees had been severely restricted in the type of work they could obtain, but with the passing of a new law Palestinian refugees were guaranteed the same rights at work as other foreigners.

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