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Labor protests weigh on recession-hit Italy

(Xinhua)

11:11, August 31, 2012

ROME, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- As Italy struggles to tackle its debt crisis, dozens of labor protests have underscored the precarious economic situation of the recession-hit country over the past weeks.

A group of workers from the world's third largest producer of aluminum Alcoa took the streets here on Thursday over the company's plan to shut down a loss-making smelter in the island of Sardinia.

The U.S.-based company had promised to keep all workers of the factory until the end of this year, but later announced it would start reducing production from September, putting hundreds of jobs at risk in a country with nearly 3 million people unemployed.

Another 50 workers have been on strike 373 meters underground in the Sulcis coal basin in Sardinia since last Sunday, urging the government to go ahead with plans for clean-coal technology and CO2 storage to ensure their jobs.

One of the miners slashed his wrist in a dramatic move during a press conference.

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