Government, unions reach compromise on pay rises for public employees

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The Independent Online

The Italian government agreed Wednesday to pay increases for public sector employees to keep up with rising inflation, ending a standoff with the unions and avoiding the risks of strikes this fall.

The Italian government agreed Wednesday to pay increases for public sector employees to keep up with rising inflation, ending a standoff with the unions and avoiding the risks of strikes this fall.

The government will pay an extra 350 billion lire (dlrs 161 million) this year to the employees. The unions had asked for an extra 700 billion lire (dlrs 322 million) to keep up with price increases, but leaders of the three main labor confederations agreed to go along with the compromise.

About 629 billion lire (dlrs 290 million) in pay raises had already been agreed on by both sides.

Inflation rose by an preliminary annual rate of 2.6 percent in August, higher than the 1.7 percent rate envisioned with current contracts were signed.

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