Spanish civil servants to strike over pay cuts

09:03, May 14, 2010      

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Unions representing Spain's civil servants announced Thursday their members would strike in protest over pay cuts.

The Federation of Servicios Publicos, the main civil service union, and powerful trades union the UGT announced protests would begin on May 20 with demonstrations and would culminate in a strike that is likely to be held on June 2.

A leader of a major union said they were "trying to gather the greatest possible amount of support."

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has announced a 5 percent pay cut and a freeze on pensions for public employees as part of his package of measures aimed at reducing the public deficit.

Despite acceptance of the need for reducing the deficit, union leaders disagreed with where the cuts had fallen, saying freezing pensions and reducing the wages of public employees would affect the weaker groups of society.

"We didn't expect it to fall on the same people as always -- civil servants, and even less so on what should be the last thing to be affected -- the pensions of our old people," a union leader said.

Source: Xinhua


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