Friday’s strike is the first of several planned in the coming days. It happened in central Italy, including Rome. The strikes were organized by Italy’s two largest unions and include bus and train drivers.
Their dissatisfaction is about the reduced funding for the industry in next year’s budget, as well as the redirection of this funding elsewhere, where the ruling coalition has a larger circle of supporters.
“Pension funding will be cut by 60 billion over the next few years. The government is trying to talk about other things, but they are missing the point. We ask if they are fighting tax evaders and if our job security is being improved, but nothing is answered. And unfortunately, we still have two or three workplace deaths every day,” said Pierpaulo Bombardieri, head of the Italian workers’ union.
Elsewhere in Italy, various actions in support of the strike were held on Friday.
The strike in the public transport sector was initiated by a trade union dispute with Italy’s Transport Minister Matteo Salvini. To cut short the strike, which was expected to last eight hours, he threatened to force workers back to work with mandatory work orders.
Therefore, buses, subways, trams, trains and ferries did not run for only four hours.
The first traffic restrictions in cities were noticeable already in the morning. Due to the canceled trains, replacement buses were running between the center of Rome and Rome Fiumicino International Airport.