UPDATE 1-Spain strike delayed, PM confident of reform

* One-day strike delayed to June 8 from June 2 – unions

* PM says confident of agreement for labour market reform

(Adds details, background)

MADRID, May 17 (BestGrowthStock) – Spanish unions decided to delay a
one-day public sector strike to protest wage cuts to June 8 as
they wait for more details on the government’s austerity
measures aimed at reining in the budget deficit.

Last week the government said it would cut wages for state
employees and slash investment spending, sparking union anger at
the toughest moves yet to deal with a budget deficit some feared
could exacerbate a wider euro zone crisis.

“We’ll know the details of the impact of the government’s
cuts on May 20, so for organisational matters we’ve decided to
push back the strike until June 8,” a spokesman for Spain’s
second largest union UGT said on Monday.

The government is expected to approve at cabinet level on
May 20 the spending cuts, which total 15 billion euros over two
years, and were aimed at stemming the debt crisis in the euro
zone. The cuts were announced after the EU and IMF pledged $1
trillion emergency funds for weak euro zone members.

The government is studying salary cuts of between 2 and 8
percent for civil servants to save over 4 billion euros. The
majority of Spain’s 2.8 million state employees earn between
1,200 and 3,000 euros a month, El Pais reported on Monday.

Meanwhile, Spain’s Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez
Zapatero said he was confident of reaching labour market
reforms, seen as crucial to boosting the economy out of its
worst recession in 50 years.

“The best labour reform will be the one that has the most
support,” Zapatero told reporters at the EU-Latam Caribbean
summit in Madrid.

Labour reform is also key for unions, who want to protect
the generous rights workers have in Spain if they have full-time
job contracts.

Spain’s unemployment rate is the highest in the euro zone at
20 percent in the first quarter and the government is in
three-way talks to streamline the labour market and increase

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(Reporting by Feliciano Tisera, Clara Vilar and Tracy
Rucinski; Editing by Dominic Evans)

UPDATE 1-Spain strike delayed, PM confident of reform