An estimated half a million people joined in protests in 57 towns and cities across Spain decrying reforms unions say will destroy workers’ rights.
Madrid saw the largest rally against the government which has already introduced tax hikes and spending cuts, and now wants to grant companies greater hiring and firing power.
Railway worker and former union delegate, Antonio Moral said: “The immediate effects are many. It makes sacking people cheaper to an unprecedented degree, it puts an end to allowing any type of labour regulation, and, in the context of labour law, this all represents a strong attack.”
According to the government, the abolishing of severance pay will help struggling companies recover from the the economic crisis and create jobs in a country where almost half of all young people are unemployed.