Morocco's unions unite to protest gov't austerity

AP News
Posted: Apr 06, 2014 7:06 AM

CASABLANCA, Morocco (AP) — Thousands of workers, teachers and civil servants are marching through downtown Casablanca to protest austerity plans put in place by the Moroccan government to control runaway spending.

An estimated 8,000 people heeded the call from this North African country's three main labor unions on Sunday to march through the country's economic capital. Demonstrators are angry about energy subsidy cuts and their falling standard of living.

The protesters demanded more jobs, higher salaries and particularly targeted Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, whose Islamist party came to power in elections following pro-democracy protests in 2011.

His government has had to cut subsidies on gasoline and diesel to control the budget deficit run up by the last government which raised salaries to combat social unrest during the Arab Spring.