Business, Finance & Economics

Lebanon government workers strike

The streets of Beirut were eerily quiet today, with different political factions setting up roadblocks in their neighborhoods. Tempers grew hotter as well. Lebanese troops were deployed in numerous areas of Beirut where political and religious opponents live side by side. In one area, Hezbollah backers lobbed grenades into a Sunni office, hurting two workers. Hezbollah roadblocks sealed off the airport, downtown and seaports. This man says the reason for the protest is the faulty government policies and that the government is ignoring people's needs. The strike was called because wages hadn't gone up in over a decade, and in response the government increased minimum wage by two-thirds. The union wants more than the government is offering. Even so this government official says today's events were political theater and not a movement for the poor. The Hezbollah opposition has been in a power struggle with Lebanon's Western-backed government since the fall of 2006. There have been flare ups of lethal sectarian violence ever since and people have been constantly worried that things could spiral out of control. but this analyst isn't worried about that, at least now. for now Hezbollah has vowed to keep the airport closed and keep the pressure on the government.

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