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Spain Union Sets Feb. 6 Strike Over Cuts at Nationalized Lenders

The Spanish banking union called for a Feb. 6 general strike over planned job cuts at nationalized lenders Bankia SA, NCG Banco SA and Banco de Valencia SA.

The strike will be preceded by demonstrations and partial strikes on Jan. 23 and Jan. 30, COMFIA-CCOO, which represents about 73,300 banking employees at the Comisiones Obreras union, said today at a news conference in Madrid.

Bankia, the largest Spanish bank due to receive a European bailout, and NCG plan to reduce balance sheets by more than 60 percent by 2017 from 2010 levels. Valencia, Spain-based Bankia said on Nov. 28 it would cut about 6,000 jobs, or more than a quarter of its workforce, to comply with terms of the bailout.

“This restructuring is not only an attack to the employment of the financial sector, but to the economic growth of Spain,” COMFIA General Secretary Jose Maria Martinez said at the news conference.

Branches in Madrid, Valencia, Segovia, Avila, Las Palmas, Logrono and Barcelona are urged to participate in the general strike, Martinez said.

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