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Date: Fri, 21 Nov 97 10:03:56 CST
From: rich%pencil@VM.MARIST.EDU (Rich Winkel)
Subject: Italian Left Journalists Strike

Italian Left Journalists Strike

Associated Press, 19 November 1997

ROME (AP) -- Journalists at daily newspapers owned by two of Italy's leftist parties called a round of strikes Wednesday to protest plans to slash dozens of jobs. Workers of Liberazione went on strike Wednesday to protest the Communist Refoundation Party's decision to cut staff after a drop in circulation from 20,000 to 12,000.

About 32 journalists and 12 typesetters would lose their jobs.

An unprecedented two-day strike was called for Thursday and Friday by workers of L'Unita, the organ of the Democratic Party of the Left, formerly Italy's main Communist Party.

L'Unita journalists and printers are protesting privatization and reorganization plans that may lead to dozens of dismissals.

Founded by Antonio Gramsci, one of the leading Marxist theorists of the century, L'Unita was the favorite daily of the working class and of leftist intellectuals.

The strikes challenge the core of the Communist party's foundations. Fausto Bertinotti, the leader of Communist Refoundation who considers himself a champion of the worker, caused the government last month to collapse briefly when he refused to vote budget-cutting measures including pension-tightening.

Liberazione is not the only leftist Italian daily to feel the pinch. L'Unita lost 24 percent and Il Manifesto 18 percent of their readers since last year.