SPAIN - The two major Spanish trade unions are organising over 100 public protests against the government's plan to raise the retirement age by two years.
Union General de Trabajadores (UGT) and Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) said in a joint statement that government proposals "deserve a complete rejection for being mistaken, imprudent and regressive". The protests will take place between February 22 and March 6.
At the beginning of this month, the Spanish administration confirmed its plans to increase the retirement age to 67, while pulling back on a proposal to increase the number of contributory years needed to retire to 25 years from 15 years. (Global Pensions, February 4, 2010)
Both unions pointed out alternative measures the government could take in order to save money. UGT said the government should enforce policies aimed at increasing employment for older people as well as penalising companies that allow employees to retire before they have actually reached their pension age.
CCOO agreed adding the government should concentrate primarily on the inflows of contributions by promoting employment and avoiding early retirement. CCOO secretary general Ignacio Fernández said: "In this way, the state can save €4m (US$5.4m) without touching pension payments."
The office of prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero did not immediately return an email seeking comments.
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