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Lebanon Boosts Minimum Wage 35% After Earlier Proposals Rejected

Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Lebanon agreed to raise the minimum wage by 35 percent, the first increase since 2008, after more than three previous proposals were rejected by unions or an advisory committee.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government agreed late yesterday to boost the wage to 675,000 Lebanese pounds ($448) a month, Information Minister Walid Daouk said in a statement on the premier’s website.

The General Labor Confederation and other organizations said earlier they weren’t satisfied with previous proposals endorsed by the cabinet for wage increases of 40 percent to 74 percent. The agreements were held up after opposition from some cabinet members and an advisory committee.

Lebanon’s last minimum wage increase was in 2008 when it rose 67 percent, the first raise since 1996. Yesterday’s decision must be reviewed by the advisory council and published in the Official Gazette before it takes effect.

To contact the reporter on this story: Massoud A. Derhally in Beirut, Lebanon, at mderhally@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net.

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