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Puerto Ricans Strike Over Massive Government Layoffs

El Nuevo Da, Posted: Oct 15, 2009

SAN JUAN -- Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets Thursday in a general 24-hour strike in protest of thousands of recent government layoffs, reports Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Da. The strike shut down businesses, schools and the city's financial district. Police mobilized 15,000 state police officers and received support from the National Guard. The protest ended without major incidents, although there were several moments of tension between police and marchers.

Governor Luis Fortuno last month announced the dismissal of 17,000 public workers in an attempt to address a $3.2 billion budget deficit. More than 4,000 public workers were laid off in June. As of August, Puerto Rico's unemployment rate was 15.8 percent.

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