March 19, 2013 / 7:41 AM / 5 years ago

Beirut air traffic controllers plan Thursday strike

BEIRUT, March 19 (Reuters) - Air traffic controllers at Beirut airport plan a four-hour strike on Thursday as part of public sector action to pressure the government to refer a new wage scale to parliament.

The strike will affect flights in and out of Beirut’s Rafik Hariri airport between 10 am and 2 pm (0800-1200 GMT), they said in a statement issued late on Monday.

Teachers and other public workers launched a series of strikes last month to push Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government to approve higher pay for public sector workers.

Mikati’s cabinet, which is also trying to curb a budget deficit which soared by 67 percent to $3.93 billion last year, will discuss the pay scales on Thursday.

The Union Coordination Committee, the body which has been organising strikes and protests at ministries across Beirut, has pledged to hold its biggest demonstration yet to coincide with the cabinet meeting.

by Dominic Evans/editing by Chris Pizzey, London MPG Desk, +44 0207 542-4441

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