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Unions to protest economc hardship outside parliament

The leadership of the Trade Union Confederation (KOZ), a labour umbrella group, has decided to call another protest rally, this time for December 8 outside the parliament building in Bratislava.

The KOZ top organ, which was turned into a strike committee at a November KOZ congress, said it hoped the rally would

KOZ Chairman Ivan Saktor told the press that the reason for the march was to express unionists' disappointment over the government's failure to incorporate a list of 20 KOZ demands in the state budget draft for the year 2000.

The KOZ special congress in November declared a nation-wide 'strike alert' in order to pressure the government to do more to lower unemployment, reduce the tax burden and increase real wages. The alert was described by Saktor as the "second level" in the KOZ's campaign of labour activism. The KOZ leader said that if the union's demands are not met, "we are mobilized enough to do it [declare a general strike]."

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