A strike by 8,000 European Common Market (EEC) civil servants (eurocrats) threatened the cancellation of several sessions of the EEC Council of Ministers in Brussels on Tuesday (12 December).
GV EEC Headquarters in Brussels
LV Police & barriers outside building
CU Demonstrators with placards
GV INT EEC workers at union duty union rally
LV Workers listening to union officials. French SOF starts at 19'. (5 shots)
Initials ESP/1511 ESP/1547
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Background: A strike by 8,000 European Common Market (EEC) civil servants (eurocrats) threatened the cancellation of several sessions of the EEC Council of Ministers in Brussels on Tuesday (12 December). And now, translators - vital links in the multi-lingual organisation - have joined the stoppage over pay negotiations. The eurocrats claim the decision making Council of Ministers had not honoured a pay structure agreement reached last March.
In a bid to end the stoppage, the EEC Commission called on the European Court of Justice for a ruling on the pay claim. But, while applauding the Commission's action, strike leaders said it would take too long for a court decision to be reached.
This strike has been the most of effective staged by the eurocrats, who have stopped work several times during the past two years over pay and working conditions. Its impact in heightened because it comes on the eve of the community's enlargement - holding up vita technical preparations for the entry in January of Britain, Ireland and Denmark.
SYNOPSIS: The European Economic Community Headquarters in Brussels is the centre of a pay strike by 6,000 civil servants.
The strikers who have been protesting outside the building since Monday, claim the Community's Council of Ministers has ignored a negotiated pay agreement.
On Tuesday, two thousand civil servants crowded into a conference room at the headquarters to hear reports from strike leaders. They were told that another 2,000 workers in Luxembourg had joined the stoppage. Leaders outlined support offered the strikers by the Community's Commission, but refused its move to intervene in the dispute. The indefinite strike comes at a crucial moment for the community, holding up vital technical preparations for the entry of Britain, Ireland and Denmark in January.