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Spanish unions announce general strike

Source: EFE - Wed 16th Jun 2010

Two of Spain's main unions have called for a general strike to take place on Sep 29 in a protest against the Socialist government's austerity measures and proposed overhaul of labour law.

Candido Mendez, head of the UGT, and Ignacio Fernandez Toxo, chief of Comisiones Obreras, announced this at a joint press conference here Tuesday.

The European Confederation of Unions is calling for mobilisations Sep 29 in each of the European Union's 27 member-states to protest the austerity measures imposed by governments across the region.

UGT and Comisiones are angry about the proposed changes to Spanish labour law that Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's government is due to present Wednesday.

The administration, backed by the business sector and the International Monetary Fund, says the changes are needed to tackle Spain's jobless rate of more than 20 percent, highest in the EU region.

But the unions contend that instead of stimulating job creation, the overhaul will only make it easier for employers to dismiss workers.

Talks between officials, business leaders and labour unions aimed at reaching a consensus on the proposed overhaul broke down last week.

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