Lebanon teachers strike on pay, action could spread

BEIRUT - Lebanese teachers and university professors held a one-day strike on Thursday to demand higher wage increases, the first stage of protests which could lead to a wider strike by labor unions later this month.
Thursday's strike followed a cabinet decision to raise the minimum wage by 100,000 pounds to 600,000 pounds ($400) a month, with a 30 percent increase for salaries between 500,000 and 1 million pounds and a 20 percent rise for salaries above that.
Those raises had been scaled down from a more generous settlement agreed by the government in October but rejected by the private sector as a crippling blow to business.
Workers complain that there has been no increase in the minimum wage since 2008 and the government measures do not reflect sharp rises in the cost of living.