BEIRUT: Unions and government officials issued congratulations to the country’s workers on the occasion of Labor Day, as activists planned a protest march to take place in the capital Sunday.
Activists involved in a campaign to end the country’s sectarian political system are organizing a march Sunday at 11 a.m. from the neighborhood of Wata al-Moseitebeh to the Government Serail in Downtown Beirut, organizers told The Daily Star.
Some activists in the anti-sectarian campaign have begun to focus on the rising public discontent over socio-economic conditions, and particularly rising gasoline and fuel prices, to bolster their protest actions.
The march is expected to pick up the support of union members whose leaders are not organizing a central demonstration for May 1.
A nationwide strike is being planned for May 19 by a number of labor confederations.
For his part, Labor Minister Butros Harb issued a statement Friday addressed to workers and employees on the occasion of May Day, saying that the government has for decades failed to meet its obligations to provide a proper social safety net, due to political instability.
“Today it is unacceptable, just as it has always been unacceptable, to shut our ears to such [labor] demands,” Harb said.
Earlier this week, caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri issued a statement saying that government offices and municipalities will close Monday to observe the holiday.
The announcement explained that since Labor Day falls on a Sunday this year, the law requires that the holiday be observed the following day