WFTU calls for general strike in Italy

June 19, 2012 at 2:26 PM
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ROME, June 19 (UPI) -- The World Federation of Trade Unions in Italy has called for a general strike to protest labor reforms it says are eroding workers' rights in the country.

While the government under Prime Minister Mario Monti struggles to find solutions to Italy's growing debt crisis, lawmakers, the union said, are attempting to cancel workers' rights to job protection.

"They envisage to cancel the ban to dismiss workers unlawfully and unfairly," the World Federation of Trade Unions affiliate in Italy said.

"Precarious employment is on the increase, whereas subsidies, allowances, benefits and forms of protection for those who lose their jobs are on the wane," the union said.

The WFTU called for a general strike to take place June 22 "to fight against this law, but also against the increase of tax pressures on workers and their families, and against the reform of collective bargaining and the State pension system."

The union called for demonstrations to take place in Rome and Milan, Italy.

The WFTU also said it "expresses its full class solidarity with the strike of over 600 days of the workers of Fralib factory," which processes Lipton brand and Elephant tea.

"We ask UNILEVER (which owns the factory) to listen to and to solve the demands raised by the striking workers," the WFTU said in a statement.

"On behalf of the 82 million workers in 120 countries affiliated to the WFTU we reiterate our solidarity and support to this fair struggle," the union said.

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