Staff strike paralyzes internet services in southern Lebanon

Telecommunication networks in southern Lebanon were completely out of service on Wednesday. It is possible that other regions may follow suit, portending a nationwide telecom and internet outage.

A total of 5,674 employees at the Ministry of Communications and state-run internet provider Ogero went on strike, demanding a salary increase.

Maintenance on the telephone networks that feed telecom lines has stopped as employees announced they would not fix any malfunctions until their demands are met.

The employees also demand that they receive their salaries based on the rate of 8,000 Lebanese pounds to the US dollar. This is due to the devaluation of the Lebanese pound, which has in the last three years has lost over 90 percent of its value against the U.S. dollar.

As telephone lines gradually went out of service, the emergency number of the Lebanese Red Cross was suspended as well.