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Madrid (AFP) Nov 05, 2013
Madrid's street-sweepers launched an open-ended strike Tuesday against layoffs and pay cuts prompted by the economic crisis, unions said.
The companies that provide cleaners for the city's streets and public gardens have announced 1,100 job cuts -- about a fifth of their total staff -- while some workers will have their salaries cut by 40 percent, the unions said.
"Faced with this situation of social exclusion, the workers have started an open-ended strike and it will continue as long as necessary until they stop this madness," said a spokesman for the UGT labour union, Juan Carlos del Rio.
The chairman of the association grouping the five municipal cleaning companies, Francisco Jargon, said there was "no solution in sight" to the dispute since the unions refused to negotiate on the terms of the cuts.
"Madrid is going to get filthy," he said. He added that about 70 percent of the workers joined in the strike on Tuesday.
The companies had already laid off 350 workers in August. Jargon said the cuts were necessary since the city hall, under pressure to cut costs like public authorities around Spain, was spending less on cleaning.
Democracy in the 21st century at TerraDaily.com
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