Spain’s unions back government public pension reform

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Spain’s left-wing government has won the backing of unions to reform the nation’s public pension system. That is in stark contrast with neighboring France, where plans to raise the retirement age have led to waves of strikes and mass protests. The leaders of Spain’s two main labor unions appeared alongside the minister of social security in Madrid to christen the plan the union heads both deemed “historic.” Spanish workers won’t be asked to work longer; instead, the new deal signed off on by its unions will aim to handle a looming boom in the number of retired workers by increasing the social security costs on businesses for higher-wage earners.