Lebanon: FuturePipe Workers, fighting for their right to work

August 8th, 2010 | Posted in Beirut, Lebanon, Palestine
    open sit-in by FuturePipe Workers in Akkar, North Lebanon


    Photo Farah Koubaissy Half of Lebanese population lives with two dollars.

Since the 12th of July 2010, workers of the FuturePipe Factory in North Lebanon have been holding an open sit-in protesting against the closure of the factory. The management of the factory had stated that the reason behind closure is due to significant losses.

Yet the workers clearly indicate that the factory is not making any losses. It is actually generating substantial profit. Only about a month ago, the owners of the factory bought new equipment at a cost of more than a million US dollars. They also opened branches in different Arab countries.

Due to all these reasons the factory workers have decided to hold a sit-in at the gates of the factory stopping the bosses from taking out the produced materials, thus blocking the delivery of these products.

120 workers are alternating between 3 daily shifts in the Sit-In. In response, the factory management recruited 100 daily workers as security guards to protect the factory from the protesting workers. This shows that the factory management is lying about its inability to keep the factory open.

The products currently present in the factory is estimated to have the value of tens of millions of US dollars. Today, after 23 days of the sit-in, not one product has been taken out of the factory.

Conditions of the workers in the factory

The factory, located in North Lebanon, opened 20 years ago. It is owned by the Makhzoumi Family, one of the richest families in Lebanon and the founders of the National Dialogue Party. The factory workers’ union leadership says that some have worked in the factory for about 20 years, others for less. They had been working for 12 hours a day without any vacations until 2009 where vacation days were reinstated.

The factory management forced the workers to become members in the political party headed by the owner’s father. Those who choose not to become members, were not allowed bonuses, compensations, or were sacked from work. When the factory owner’s grandfather died, the workers were forced to attend the funeral.

The workers’ union leadership contacted the Lebanese Ministry of Labor and had two meetings with one of the its mediators. The Ministry sided with the bosses and no resolution was reached.

The union leadership has decided to hold a press conference on Wednesday 4th of August 2010 at the General Labor Union’s office in Beirut to explain their situation. A solidarity meeting has also been called by the leftist political parties, to take place at the same time and the same location.

The workers are still sustaining the sit-In and one of their main slogans is: “the passing through of our souls is easier that the passing through of the products” showing their resilience against the bosses and in fighting for their right to work.

Several trade-unions in lebanon have released solidarity and support statements. Solidarity visits are being organized to the sit-in. But that is not enough. In Lebanon, the economic struggle is entrenched with political struggle. The workers face a media blackout (since Makhzoumi funds several TVs and newspapers). There is also pressure from establishment political figures to end the protest.

That is why it is very important that trade-unions and political parties and groups outside Lebanon, especially in countries where the FuturePipe company has offices or factories, to send solidarity statements and letters to the company demanding the re-institution of workers and the re-opening of the factory.

The list of branches and contacts for the Future Pipe company around the world is listed below, moreover it is worth mentioning that the company has manufacturing locations in the following countries: UAE, Qatar, Egypt, Oman, KSA, USA and the Netherlands, so if anyone would know of a way to contact the trade union for any of these manufacturing locations, we would highly appreciate it, as we are trying to gather the widest circle of solidarity for the Sit-In.

Please send your solidarity letters to: futurepipeworkers(at)gmail.com

To send letters to the company offices to demand the re-institution of workers please use the following contacts, based on the country of your residence, and please cc the above email when you do so:

Future Pipe Limited
11, Hobart Place
Tel: +44 (0)20 7838 8660
Fax: +44 (0)20 7838 8661
Email: sales-uk@futurepipe.com

Future Pipe Industries
Via Senigallia 18/2 Tower A
20161 – Milan, ITALY
Tel.: +39 02 6467 2546
Fax: +39 02 6467 2400
Mobile: +39 348 6060 312
Email: s.storaci@futurepipe.it

Future Pipe Sarl
Tour de l´Horloge
4, Place Louis Armand
75603 Paris Cedex12- France
Phone +33 (0) 1 72 76 25 15
Fax +33 (0) 1 72 76 26 25
Email: sales-france@futurepipe.com

Future Pipe (S.L.)
Edificio Lexington
c/ Orense, 85 28020,
Madrid, Spain
Tel: +34 (91) 567 8463
Fax: +34 (91) 567 8464
Email: sales-spain@futurepipe.com

Future Pipe Trading Limited
Office No. 4406-44th Floor,
CRC Tower,
All Seasons Place,
87 Wireless Road
Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +66 (2) 685 3288
Fax: +66 (2) 685 3244
Email: sales-thailand@futurepipe.com

Future Pipe Industries
No.30 Woodlands Loop # 02-01
Nobel Design Building
Singapore 738319
Tel: +65 (67) 57 5312
Fax: +65 (67) 57 5317
Email: sales-singapore@futurepipe.com

Future Pipe Industries
Building 72-F/1, 3rd Floor
9th Jami Commercial Street
Phase VII, DHA. Karachi
Tel: + 9221 35394772
Fax: + 9221 35394771
Email: sales-pakistan@futurepipe.com

Future Plastrex
Middle Ren Min Road
MoreSky Suite 804/123 Wuxi
Email: sales-china@futurepipe.com

Future Pipe Industries
C/O You-Jin Commercial Co. Ltd.
3rd Floor, Room No. 304, Wonhyo Bldg.
1365-22, Seocho-Dong, Seocho-Ku
Seoul, Korea
Tel: +82 (2) 34869300
Fax: +82 (2) 34864700
Email: sales-korea@futurepipe.com

Goztepe Mah. Goksu Evleri Sakayik
CAD No. 6-B70A
Beykoz – Istanbul
Zip Code: 34829
Tel: +90 (216) 6680870
Fax: +90 (216) 6680873
Email: sales-turkey@futurepipe.com

Future Pipe Industries (FPI)
C/O TCB Avgidis Automation S.A
108 Kasomouli Str.
11744 Neos Kosmos
Athens, Greece
Tel: +30 (210) 9480260
Fax: +30 (210) 9406200
Email: sales-greece@futurepipe.com

The Netherlands
Future Pipe Industries b.v.
J.C. Kellerlaan 3,
P.O. Box 255
7770 AG Hardenberg,
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 (523) 280 500
Fax: +31 (523) 280 700
Email: netherlands@futurepipe.com

Future Pipe Industries (S.A.E.)
Othman Towers,
Othman Ahmad Othman Street,
Corniche al-Ma’adi (behind Nile Mall)
Cairo, Egypt
Tel: +20 (2) 2528 5880
Fax: +20 (2) 2528 5890
Email : sales-egypt@futurepipe.com

Future Pipe Industries (L.L.C.)
P.O. Box 213PC,
124 Rusayl
Sultanate of Oman
Tel: +968 (24) 449 164
Fax: +968 (24) 446 217
Email: sales-oman@futurepipe.com

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Future Pipe Industries (L.L.C.)
P.O. Box 8513
Al-Khobar 31492
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Tel: +966 (3) 812 3454
Fax: +966 (3) 812 3453
Email: sales-saudiarabia@futurepipe.com

Future Pipe Industries (L.L.C.)
Fahda Commercial Center
P.O. Box 3820
Riyadh 11481
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Tel: +966 (1) 293 0004
Fax: +966 (1) 293 5230
Email: sales-saudiarabia@futurepipe.com

Future Pipe Industries
Al Abrar Commercial centre, 4th floor
Fahed Al Salem Street, Kuwait City.
Tel.: + 965 22419229 Ext.(16)
Fax: + 965 22437306
Email: sales-kuwait@futurepipe.com

Future Pipe Industries, Inc.
11905 Proctor Road, Houston,
Texas 77038
United States of America
Tel: +1 (281) 847 2987
Fax: +1 (281) 847 4216
Email: sales-spoolable@futurepipe.com

Future Pipe Industries, Inc.
Connecticut Ave, NW
Suite 600
Washington DC 20006
United States of America
Tel: +1 (202) 429 3744
Fax: +1 (202) 429 3745
Web: www.futurepipe. com/usa/

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