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article imageAndorra witnesses first strike since 1933

By AFP     Mar 15, 2018 in Business

The tiny principality of Andorra is witnessing a once in a generation phenomenon -- a widespread strike.

Around a third of civil servants across the mountainous micro-state have walked out to protest proposed reforms to their sector in what has been described as Andorra's first large-scale strike since 1933.

With no negotiation breakthrough in sight, picket lines are expected to be manned again on Friday with customs officers, police, teachers and prison staff among those taking part.

The first major strike in 85 years was sparked by plans from the government of Antoni Marti to reform civil servant contracts.

He has assured officials "will not do an hour more" work under the reforms and that 49 million euros would be allocated for the next 25 years to supplement civil servant salaries.

But government workers are unconvinced with unions warning the reforms could risk their 35 hour working week and pay.

Customs officers involved in the strike interrupted traffic on the Andorran-Spanish border this week, according to unions, while some 80 percent of teachers have walked out of classes.

Strikers have occupied the government's main administrative building and held noisy protests outside parliament calling for Marti's resignation.

"We have started collecting signatures to demand the resignation of the head of government and now nobody will stop us," Gabriel Ubach, spokesman for the public service union, told reporters.

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