Unions vow public-sector strike over govt spending cuts

Measure is a 26-billion-euro 'meat cleaver'

Unions vow public-sector strike over govt spending cuts

(ANSA) - Rome, July 19 - The head of Italy's largest labor union CGIL said there would be a public-sector strike to oppose the government's hotly contested 26-billion-euro package of spending cuts and sell-offs. CGIL and fellow union UIL will launch "a general strike of the public sector against the umpteenth measure," said Susanna Camusso Thursday at a rally in Rome. The cuts, which among other things aim to avert a 2% increase in VAT scheduled for October, include a 10% reduction of staff and 20% reduction of managers in Italy's large public administration, as well as trimming benefits such as meal vouchers. Labor unions have called the measure "a meat cleaver to public services". The measure, which will go before the House at the end of July, was approved by the cabinet earlier this month.

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