Spain's royal palace workers call 1st ever strike

MADRID (AP) — Workers at Spain's royal palaces will stage their first strike ever to protest austerity cutbacks.

The CSI-F union said Wednesday the strikes on Mar. 28-29 during the Easter holidays of Holy Thursday and Good Friday will include some 500 national heritage site staff, including waiters to the royal family, gardeners and palace museum staff.

Among the sites affected will be the king's Zarzuela Palace and two of Spain's most popular tourist sites— the San Lorenzo del Escorial monastery and the Valley of the Fallen mausoleum, where the late dictator Gen. Francisco Franco is buried.

The union said the sites could lose some 100,000 visitors because of strike.

It said government measures have slashed wages by 15 percent and extended working weeks.