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Spain's unions could call for a general strike

Source: Reuters - Fri 21st May 2010

Spain's largest workers union Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) could call a general strike to protest the government's austerity measures, its head Ignacio Fernandez Toxo said on Friday, according to agency reports in newspaper El Mundo reported.

According to EFE and Europa Press, Toxo said he would "probably" call a general strike in response to the Socialist government's "right-wing economic policy, financial speculation and the markets."

The reports mentioned a possible one-day protest, but it was not clear whether Toxo had specified how long the protest might be.

CCOO and Spain's second-largest union confederation, the UGT, has already called a strike of civil servants protesting pay cuts.

Asked whether the UGT would join a general strike, a spokeswoman said: "We don't rule anything out. Our position hasn't changed."

Spain's government, the unions and business representatives are in three-way talks on a much anticipated labour reform and are expected to reach and agreement some time next week.

CCOO and UGT have also promised to fight wage cuts in the courts, however, only around 16 percent of Spanish workers are union affiliated.

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