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pon, dec

Spanish workers hold general strike over labour reforms !

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spainstrike1Mariano Rajoy's right wing conservative government is copying Britain in their "Cuts Agenda" they will unveil measures on tomorrow to save tens of billions of euros.

Road, rail and air transport are all due to be affected, with domestic and European flights cut to a fraction of their usual volume. Spain has the EU's highest rate of unemployment. The country's two biggest unions called the strike to demonstrate against new legislation which makes it easier and cheaper for companies to fire employees. Protest marches are planned throughout the country during the evening. Ignacio Fernandez Toxo, leader of the CCOO, said the strike was "a just response to a brutal reform of our system of labour relations".

One protester in the capital Madrid, Maria Jose, said: "This labour reform was meant to protect entrepreneurs and what it really protects are big companies. 

"That is why we are here fighting together."

Strikes spark new public pay talks ...

Germany: Public-sector union reps and government negotiators started new talks yesterday to sort out a pay deal for two million workers. The Verdi trade union has organised a wave of warning strikes over the past week that culminated with Tuesday's massive airport worker strike. Workers want a 6.5 per cent pay rise this year and have turned down a meagre 3.3 per cent increase drawn out over two years.

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