Italy’s largest trade union has called for a general strike in protest at Prime Minister Mario Monti’s attempts to reform the jobs market.
Monti has given up on trying to get full union support for sweeping changes to employment protection laws dating back to the 1970s.
The CGIL union is calling for a one-day strike in protest.
It has warned that because the reforms weaken protections in existing jobs, and not just new work contracts, there’ will be mass dismissals from companies.
Monti has said the reforms are essential to help create more jobs and boost competitiveness, ensuring that heavily indebted Italy — which is the eurozone’s third biggest economy — does not go the same way as Greece.
Having got the broad support of the more moderate CISL and UIL trade unions and the employers the prime minister has said he will press ahead with the changes.
Italy is no stranger to strikes Monti obviously believes he can ride out the threatened protests.