MEA pilots go on strike

May 28 - Beirut-based Middle East Airline’s (MEA) pilots went on strike for a few hours on Wednesday but air traffic at the Rafik Hariri International Airport remained normal and no flights disruptions took place. The strike was the result of the breakdown of talks between MEA and its pilots over packages and work conditions. Pilots accuse the airline of temporarily hiring pilots from other airlines thus forcing a strike.

The president of the Lebanese Workers Party, Maroun Khawli, criticized MEA’s borrowing of pilots from other airlines, saying that the action was against Lebanese laws and would lead to chaos. “We call upon the MEA administration to send back these foreign pilots to their countries; otherwise we will have to prosecute them for not having a legitimate work permit. Moreover, they don’t have prior approval from the Labor Ministry to work in Lebanon,” he said.

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