Public sector workers hold one-day strike over pay cuts


Public sector workers in the Czech Republic held a one-day strike against government plans to cut their salaries next year. Trades union leaders said nearly 150,000 state employees took part in the industrial action. Many schools around the country were closed for the day, while hospitals operated a weekend service. Protest gatherings were also held in Prague and other cities and towns. The right-of-centre coalition plans to cut the total amount paid to public sector workers by 10 percent, and make other changes to the pay system. Prime Minister Petr Nečas accused the unions of playing politics and pointed out that the majority of state employees had not taken part in the strike.