Bakery Owners in Lebanon Threaten to Strike
By Staff, Agencies
Union of Bakery Owners in Lebanon, on Thursday threatened to strike if no solutions were found to the dollar shortage over the next few days.
“We declare a strike on Monday Oct. 14 in all bakeries ... in all regions of Lebanon,” said the head of the union, Kazem Ibrahim at a meeting.
“We cannot continue in this situation, we are owners of bakeries and we sell in Lebanese and we must pay in dollars; so how can we buy the dollar for LL1,600?” Ibrahim added.
Ibrahim said that many promises had been made thus far, but that no positive developments had come to fruition thus far.
He pointed out that they were “feeding [other] people but starving our children.”
Rising concerns over a dollar liquidity crunch have fueled fears of a possible devaluation of the Lebanese pound. While the authorized trading band for $1 is LL1,501-1,514, unofficial exchange rates have exceeded LL1,600.
The announcement comes shortly after mill owners in Lebanon announced that they would start charging for flour in dollars, a move that could lead to bread shortages across the country.
A gathering of Lebanese mill owners issued a statement Tuesday, saying they were unable to gain access through banks to the amount of dollars necessary to operate.
They said Central Bank measures to secure dollars for Lebanese lenders at the official fixed exchange rate of LL1,507, in order to facilitate the import of fuel, medicine and wheat, were not adequate.