Spanish unions rule out general strike

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Leaders of Spain's two major unions Thursday ruled out calling a general strike over the government's austerity plans, after backing a walkout of public sector workers for June 2.

"It would be irresponsible on our part to call a general strike which would contribute to the economic deterioration of the country even more," the secretary general of CCOO union, Ignacio Fernandez Toxo, said after a meeting with Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

But both Toxo and his counterpart at the UGT union, Candido Mendez, said they backed demonstrations called for May 20 and a strike in the public sector for June 2 to protest Zapatero's austerity measures announced Wednesday.

The government plan includes a five-percent pay cut for public workers.

© 2010 AFP

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