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Nationwide Strike Begins In Spain

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a nationwide strike in Spain.

The strike was organized by the two largest unions in Spain, and it is targeting the transportation sector. It's possible air travel will be shut down almost completely. Strikers are protesting a major labor reform bill that's being pushed by the new conservative government. The bill is supposed to help reduce Spain's 23 percent unemployment rate, the highest in the European Union, by making it easier for companies to hire and fire employees. Now, the unions say it will make unemployment worse. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.