Lebanon: layoffs without salary collection mechanism for employees of Daily Star newspaper

Lebanon: layoffs without salary collection mechanism for employees of Daily Star newspaper

London - ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies follows up on the English-Lebanese newspaper, The Daily Star, and its decision to dismiss employees without determining a clear mechanism for their salary collection, and end-of-service benefits, leaving many jobless with no financial security.

In a statement today the London-based think-tank affirmed that the mass dismissal of the newspaper's employees violated Lebanese Labor Laws alongside international conventions and agreements related to workers' rights.

On the 1st of November, According to ImpACT's follow-up, employees of the newspaper had received an e-mail from the editorial board, informing them of the alarming decision to terminate the contracts of all current employees, after a two week leave provided by the newspaper in October, which then turned into permanent redundancy for all employees who had been hoping to return to The Daily Star.

In a letter issued by the newspaper's Editor-in-Chief, Nadim Ladki stated that: “It is with a heavy heart I inform you that a decision has been made to lay off all employees of the Daily Star as of October 31, 2021. We are working on finalizing the compensation and payment arrangements as soon as possible. You will be notified of the details in due course. It has been an honour and privilege to work with each and every one of you and I wish you all the best in these difficult times.”

Former Daily Star journalist, Timour Azhari, explained on his Twitter account that all staff at the newspaper have been laid off, noting that “many are owed months of wages and now compensation”.

Moreover, since its establishment in 1952, the newspaper, The Daily Star, had faced numerous setbacks and complications that had subsequently resulted in the ceasing of its publications on multiple occasions.

In January 2009, the newspaper ceased publication for two weeks due to financial difficulties and resumed its activities in the following month as result of agreements that were reached with creditors regarding the repayment of accumulated debts.

However, before the administration decided to terminate contracts, employees at The Daily Star attempted to exercise their rights to protest through organised strikes due to late payment of wages.

in December, renewing the contract of the American journalist Ben Reid, who was accused of coordinating the strike back then.


Moreover, it is important to stress that a group of businessmen with close ties to the Hariri family purchased the newspaper, Consequently, the paper indirectly fell into the hands of the family, through DS Holding company belonging to Middle Holding company, which was founded by the businessman and former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

In February 2020, due to financial restrictions, the newspaper had to eliminate its printing of physical publications. Making matters worse, as of the 13th of October, the newspaper's website would no longer be updated, leaving viewers and sponsors with little choice but to turn to other newspaper agencies for their information.

Employees who were dismissed from the newspaper refused to publicly announce that they “still do not know what will happen to them and their financial dues,” specifically seeing as many of them have not yet received the wages they have been owed, at the same time have been left with a lack of information on the newspapers post redundancy policies.

A former journalist in the newspaper highlighted that there are employees who have not received their wages for more than six months, expressing that he and his colleagues have not been able to receive the money they are legally owed, including end-of-service benefits.

The management of The Daily Star newspaper must abide by Lebanese labour laws alongside the international conventions and agreements related to workers' rights in dealing with its terminated employees, ImpACT stressed.

Paragraph “f” of Article 50 of the Lebanese Labor Law stipulates that in case of exceptional or economic circumstances, the institution must consult with the Ministry of Labor a month before the fund disbursement to devise a final agreement for the termination of contracts. These should be set according to specific criteria that take into account seniority, age, specialization, and familial and social status.

ImpACT stressed the need to comply with the text of the aforementioned paragraph, as this has a direct impact on the future of families affected by the mass layoffs experienced by employees in the Daily Star newspaper.

Accordingly, ImpACT calls on the Lebanese Ministry of Labor to audit the terminated contracts so that it meets the necessary conditions of the exceptional or economic circumstances that led to the mass layoffs.

It also affirmed that the laid-off employees have the right to turn to the competent judiciary, which is the Arbitration Work Council, and file the necessary lawsuits to claim their right to return to work or consider the dismissal arbitrary and obtain the necessary compensation in full.

Ultimately, Lebanese companies under the International Protection of Wages Convention which it ratified in 1977 are required to fulfil their commitment and adhere to the policy regulations.

The signed agreement stipulates the need to pay wages periodically, and for the government and related agencies to take measures to expand unemployment benefits to include workers who face loss of earnings due to partial unemployment, especially in cases of a reduction in working hours and disruption due to a temporary suspension of work.


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