Members of the Italian metalworkers trade union Fiom-CGIL hold a placard reading "Enough now!" during a protest in Rome on March 9.
Credit Filippo Monteforte / AFP/Getty Images
Members of the Italian metalworkers trade union Fiom-CGIL march during a protest in Rome on March 9. Thousands of trade unionists protested on a day of strikes against auto giant Fiat and the government's plans to overhaul labor laws to make it easier to fire workers.
Credit Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, shown here during an EU summit in Brussels on March 2, is facing his biggest challenge yet over proposed changes to the country's labor laws.
Italy's technocrat prime minister, Mario Monti, came to office less than five months ago as the country's finances were in a tailspin. And now he could be facing his toughest challenge yet — pushing through changes to labor regulations.
Italian labor rules ensure job security for older workers but can condemn the younger generation to a series of insecure, temporary jobs.
Since taking office, Monti has pushed through a round of tough austerity measures, budget cuts, pension reform and some deregulation.