SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- Tens of thousands of Italian civil service workers have held a march in Rome to call for higher salaries and a new national contract for the sector amid the rising cost of living in the country, Press TV reports.
On Saturday, over 100,000 demonstrators took to the streets of the Italian capital, Rome, urging the government to pay attention to their economic woes and take measure to boost employment.
Union representatives threatened that they would call for a general strike for next month should the government fail to raise salaries for some three million public sector workers.
“We must unblock the future. We need good contracts, more jobs and a stronger public service sector,” noted Susanna Camusso, head of Italy’s largest union, the Italian General Confederation of Labor (CGIL).
Graziano Urbinati, another CGIL member, also slammed authorities in Rome for turning a blind eye to the economic issues of Italian wokers.
“We have lost some five, six thousand euros in seven years as our wage rates have not been adjusted to the real cost of living. [Premier Matteo] Renzi’s government is acting in line with his predecessors. They are doing nothing for us workers,” Urbinati said.
The jobless rate in Italy currently stands at about 12.6 percent, which is the highest level since the 1970s, while youth unemployment, measuring job seekers between 15 and 24 years old, is nearly 43 percent.
Deputy Secretary General of Italian Labor Union (UIL) Carmelo Barbagallo criticized consecutive governments in the country for what he said snatching billions of euros from the public sector.
“Renzi has to realize that if he really wants to change the country, he must deal with workers and not ignore them,” he told Press TV.
The Italian prime minister has offered to reform labor rules as a way to create jobs. However, his reforms are believed to include measures that would make it easier to sack workers.