Italy's main trade unions have scheduled a three-hour strike for Monday 12 December, in protest at Italian prime minister Mario Monti's emergency budget known as the Salva Italia plan.

The CGIL, CISL and UIL unions are concerned about the impact the budget will have on the employees they represent, in particular the measures affecting pensions and the new retiring age.

In 2012 the retirement age will be raised from 65 to 66 for men, and from 60 to 62 for women, while the minimum number of years of pension contributions required to retire before retirement age will increase from 40 to 42 years for men, and 41 years for women.

It is unusual for the three trade union federations to strike at the same time as their responses to the government's economic policies have often been in conflict in recent years.