Lebanon has seen nationwide internet shutdowns as employees of state-owned telco Ogero walked out in protest over the company’s failure to adjust their wages in the face of the country’s devastating economic crisis.
Despite the Lebanese pound depreciating against the US dollar, state institutions such as Ogero have not adjusted employee salaries to accommodate surging inflation, which has resulted in public sector workers striking for the past two months.
However, it appears that the matter cannot be resolved at management level. Associated Press quoted Ogero chairman Imad Kreidieh as saying: “Unfortunately at my level there is very little to do. Ogero does not have the funds to deal with the matter.” Kreidieh argued that Lebanon’s parliament and caretaker government would need to address the issue.
In May this year, Lebanon’s government cleared Ogero to increase telecom and internet tariffs, arguing that the move was essential for the survival of the sector amid failing infrastructure and shortages of diesel to power generators – a necessity given that the state-run power company offers around two hours of electricity daily.
Legislator Paula Yacoubian told the AP that a parliamentary committee on telecoms would meet next week to establish a course of action addressing the network outages.