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Italian engineering workers protest at contract delays


Italian engineering workers protest at contract delays


Engineering workers in Italy have held a one day strike and blocked transport routes across the country as part of a long-running pay dispute.

It is the latest in a series of stoppages since their employment contract expired 13 months ago.

They are angry about the slow progress in that talks with the employers over a new contract.

One worker said: “We are forced to beg for what we are owed, that is the wage increase agreed in 2003. And that in spite of the fact that the increase doesn’t even match inflation.”

As well as blocking railway lines, they picketed the motorway connecting Italy’s financial centre Milan with Turin, where the Winter Olympics will be held next month.

The metalworkers union, with nearly two million members, is the biggest group in the private sector and its contract often sets the trend for other pay deals.

The unions are seeing a monthly rise of 105 euros for the two year contract period, while the employers have offered 94.5 euros over two and a half years.

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