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Labor Union Calls First Strike Ever

February 21, 1985

VATICAN CITY (AP) _ A union leader said today that lay Vatican employees will go on their first strike ever next week, an action expected to close museums and shut down the Holy See’s newspaper and radio station.

Mariano Cerullo, president of the Association of Lay Vatican Employees, said in an interview that the strike was called because of the Vatican’s failure to agree to a union proposal put forward last October to standardize pay scales and job classifications.

The tiny independent city-state has more than 3,000 lay and religious employees. Nearly 1,700 of the 1,800 lay employees belong to the union and are expected to take part in the 24-hour job action beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday, he said.

The Vatican has made no public statement on the strike threat, and a spokesman, Monsignor Giulio Nicolini, said he didn’t know what would happen if the walkout took place.

″There are four administrations, each with its own rules and pay scale, which creates a pay and regulation jungle,″ said Cerullo, a technician at Vatican Radio.

He said salaries and work rules differ widely for people doing the same type of work under different administrations.

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