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Portugal court strikes down more labor reforms

Thursday - 9/26/2013, 10:53am  ET

People, some of them holding a banner that reads in Portuguese: "Retired Civil Servants Against The Robbery of Pensions", march during a protest by a Portuguese civil servant union against austerity measures, in Lisbon, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013. The protest, joined by other retired and pensioner Portuguese associations, was against cuts in pensions taken by the Portuguese government as a part of an austerity program in exchange of a euro 78 billion ($103 billion) bailout needed in 2011. The white board in the middle reads in Portuguese: "Who fights could lose, who doesn't fight always lose". (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

LISBON, Portugal (AP) -- Portugal's Constitutional Court has struck down some government measures aimed at making it easier for companies to lay off workers.

The court's ruling, published Thursday, is the latest constitutional setback for the government's promises to reform the economy in return for a 78 billion-euro ($105 billion) bailout in 2011.

The judges rejected a law allowing employers to choose which staff to make redundant, saying safeguards against discrimination must also be adopted. It also invalidated lay-offs when a worker fails to adapt to new job demands, insisting staff must first be considered for other jobs in the company.

It was the fourth time in just over a year the court has declared labor reforms unlawful, casting doubt on Portugal's ability to abide by the terms of its bailout agreement.

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