Publication Date : Tuesday 20 May 2014 18:00
Civil servants hold strike in Italian capital
Some 20,000 civil servants have walked off their jobs in the Italian capital, Rome, to protest against the local government’s planned salary cuts, Press TV reports.
The strike was called by Italy’s three major trade unions - the Italian General Confederation of Labour (CGIL), Italian Confederation of Trade Unions (CISL), and Italian Union of Labour (UIL).
The striking public workers, including clerical workers, pre-school teachers and traffic controllers, say Rome’s mayor Ignazio Marino should not cut their ancillary payments off their salaries.
The planned cut was recommended by Italy’s Ministry of Economy and Finance, which said the municipality’s ancillary payments are not linked to either performance or production and therefore should be scraped.
The striking public servants are also complaining that they cannot keep up with the increasing cost of living.
According to a recent study by the Center for European Research, Italian families lost on average 600 euros a year due to increasing taxes and growing inflation between 2007 and 2013.
Over the past decade, Italy has been the slowest-growing economy in the eurozone as tough austerity measures, and spending cuts have caused serious concerns for many people in the country.
The unemployment rate in Italy reached a record of 13 percent in February and the youth joblessness also hit the highest ever level at 42.4 percent.
Italians have been staging protests against high unemployment rate, economic adversity and hardship over a series of government-imposed austerity packages in recent years.
This comes as Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who took power in February, is seeking to make sweeping reforms in a bid “to revive the country’s ailing economy.”