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NAVAL STATION ROTA, Spain — Spanish base workers in Rota are considering going on strike later this month to protest the U.S. Navy’s plan to cut the number of civilian employees.

Unions representing the roughly 1,150 workers will decide on June 18 whether to demonstrate outside the base gates, said Rafael Chacón, secretary for the committee that represents the four worker unions.

“If we don’t get results in the next few weeks, we are thinking about demonstrating,” he said, adding that a possible one-day strike would occur between June 21 and June 30.

Employees are worried about the Navy’s aim to slash the number of military, U.S. civilian and local-national civilian jobs across Europe.

Navy Capt. John Orem, commander of U.S. Naval Activities Spain, wrote in his May 13 column, which appeared in the base newspaper, that the Navy is reshaping its workforce in Europe in an effort to become more efficient, adding that some Spanish civilian positions would be dropped.

“We do not know exactly how many positions will be eliminated, or how many from which departments, but that information will be determined in the coming months once final decisions are made after the U.S. government notifies the Spanish government,” Orem wrote.

Union leaders understand it is inevitable that there will be some cuts, but they want the U.S. and Spanish governments to soften the blow by offering, for example, early retirement for some workers, Chacón said. Workers also are demanding more information and details on which departments could bear the brunt of the cuts.

“The people are nervous,” Chacón said. “It could be me [who gets laid off]. I don’t know. It’s really hard.”

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