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Monday,26 February, 2024
The President was briefed by Minister Bayram on the files of the Ministry of Labor and outcomes of the World Labor Organization conference.
The President was briefed by Minister Bayram on the files of the Ministry of Labor and outcomes of the World Labor Organization conference.

Minister Bayram on behalf of President Aoun: “The gas and oil file is on the right track, and Lebanon's message is to unite, not divide”.


Minister Bayram: “The state was able through the person of President Aoun to negotiate in a good and excellent way the demarcation of the southern maritime borders”.


Minister Bayram: “The Committee will meet next week to follow up on developments in the cost of living, and efforts are continuing to approve the pension”.


Labor Minister, Mustafa Bayram, quoted the President of the Republic, General Michel, as confirming that "The gas and oil file is on the right track”.


Minister Bayram stressed that Lebanon's policy is to unite, not divide, and to call for Arab-Arab dialogue for the good of all our peoples and our region.


Minister Bayram also announced a meeting of the Index Committee next week to follow up on the developments in the cost of living, stressing the continuation of efforts to approve the pension.


Minister Bayram’s stances came after meeting President Aoun and briefing him on the results of the Arab Labor Organization conference and in the form of the bilateral meetings he held on the sidelines, in addition to the public sector salaries and the convening of the Index Committee next week to follow up on the developments in the cost of living.




After the meeting, Minister Bayram said:

“I was honored to meet the President of the Republic. I briefed him on what happened at the Arab Labor Organization conference that was held in Cairo a week ago, and about the speech I gave and the constants I focused on in the name of Lebanon, in terms of the importance of Arab communication and support for Arab dialogue and the importance of having a joint Arab strategy in all issues, and if this is not possible, let us go to strategies in other matters, the least of which is related to human resources and human and human development for the Arab citizen and the Arab peoples.


I also briefed the President on the bilateral meetings that were held on the sidelines of the conference, including the meeting with the Director-General of the Arab Labor Organization, several labor ministers in brotherly countries, and with the Qatari minister. 

In addition, I informed President Aoun of the presence of a technical delegation headed by the Qatari Ministry of Labor this evening to Lebanon, on the condition that its meetings begin tomorrow at the Ministry of Labor with many Lebanese parties. I think that it will ask for Lebanese workers in Qatar.

We do not yet have details, but we will meet with the delegation and listen to it so that matters will be announced in a press conference in which we define the criteria and agree on all the foundations, so that the selection process will not be in our hands and we will move away from it, so that we do not get into the Lebanese problems, and the criteria will be according to what the delegation requests. 

As for our job, it will be to announce, facilitate and register what their job will be to choose. I will not anticipate matters until the delegation is heard.


I also addressed many matters and briefed the President on how to follow up the salaries of the public sector, in addition to what is related to what is within the competence of the Ministry of Labor with regard to the private sector, where I announced from here that the Index Committee, God willing, will meet next week to follow up on developments in the high cost of living.


I explained to the President that we are following the method of accumulation, that is, step by step, to be flexible and to be able to keep pace with the developments in the high cost of living, because Lebanon's policy is to unite, not divide, and to call for Arab-Arab dialogue for the good of all our peoples and our region.

During the dialogue, President Aoun assured me that the gas and oil file is on the right track and with a very good development, and that we may hear positive things in the near future that will move us to a very important strategic position linked to our future and the future of our generations.


This is an issue that the Lebanese state, through the person of His Excellency the President, was able to express in a good and excellent manner in the negotiation process, taking advantage of the existing cards of power in the Lebanese stance, including the equations that were established, as well as the Lebanese consensus in this field and the solid position of His Excellency the President to preserve Lebanon’s sovereignty and rights.  


This moves us from one shore to another and gives Lebanon economic solvency, and we hope for the best, God willing”.


Questions & Answers:

Minister Bayram was asked about the retirement system in the social security and the continuation of receiving compensation based on the exchange rate of 1500 Lebanese pounds, where he replied: "The retirement and end-of-service benefits collapsed after some of them became worth, for example, two thousand dollars instead of sixty thousand dollars. I am working according to a strategy represented in a sustainable path in parallel with a path that responds to the current economic emergencies.

On the sustainable path, I learned that the management of the National Social Security Fund contacted the Governor of the Banque du Liban to study the possibility of adjusting the exchange rate and making it on the basis of 8000 LBP and my assessment that this proposal did not reach a result. Do we despair and stop at this point? Of course not. Therefore, we went to Plan B, and it has two tracks, the first is a bill that exists in the House of Representatives, and I think it has become available to the parliamentary committees, and it is linked to the establishment of a retirement pension in social security, and that would produce a kind of stability and security. Especially Article 54, I think, the fifth paragraph. 


I found that there is an existing legislative order that gives the insured the right to choose. This article was as if she was born clinically stillborn. So we took it out of the recovery room and revived it through a letter sent to the Insurance Department so that we could establish a committee to discuss the pension. The Insurance Department responded and formed a committee and came up with outputs, and God willing, it will be next week to the well-known auditor at the International Labor Organization and its regional headquarters in Lebanon, Mr. Louka, who will give a copy of the actuarial study. The workers are in the Index Committee to discuss two things: This issue is so that if it is approved and I do not think that there are obstacles, God willing, I will direct a letter in the name of the Index Committee, and by virtue of the fact that I am the Minister of Guardianship of Insurance to its board of directors to set this system, I believe and take exceptional approval of it from the Government and His Excellency the President. I think that we are taking rapid steps in this area to provide some kind of assistance in this regard”.


“As for the second step, we will meet in the Index Committee in order to keep abreast of developments related to the cost of living.  Until today, and since I assumed duties in the ministry, the Index Committee met after a six-year hiatus nine times, and each time there were outputs related to school grants, transportation allowances and an increase in the cost of living. In this context, I say that the increases were not enough, but with a "received share" and a step forward, and the most important thing is that we asked the employers, and they were obligated, and they actually committed to declaring them to the guarantee, which resulted in a kind of new "chat" with accumulated billions that enabled the administration and board of directors not to take a decision, based on the dialogue between us and them, to amend the hospitalization tariffs so that they were hit two and a half and three times” Minister Bayram continued.


The Labor Minister was asked: Will this argument not be strengthened if you go for a final organization of foreign workers in Lebanon?

Minister Bayram said: "For sure, foreign workers need to be regulated. We were able to control them to a very large extent. In a numerical sample, the number of work permits previously granted to foreign workers in 2018 exceeded 11,000 to 12,000. Since our arrival at the ministry. During a year, the prior leave does not exceed 270; this relative difference benefits the Lebanese worker, in addition to issuing a decision in which 126 professions were restricted to the Lebanese, which constitutes an opportunity for the Lebanese worker.  

The productive stimulus is due to the rentier economic policies that hit all production sectors. It takes time and is linked to culture and a return to work and to the culture of production, especially since we have all the required talents and human resources”.


Question: Have you discussed with His Excellency the President the stages of the efforts to form a government?

Answer: “There was a passing signal, and what His Excellency the President said is that in the end the government will be formed, and we hope that because this will contribute to the stability of institutions and generate a kind of security to accompany the important achievements that we are anticipating, God willing, and we are all hopeful”.