Friday’s strike in Italy: what you need to know.
Italy faces a nationwide general strike on Friday 17 November with disruption expected to public transport services as well the education and health sectors.
The strike affecting public transport was originally scheduled as a 24-hour protest but was reduced to four hours after the government issued an injunction, a move that infuriated trade unions.
The strike has been called by two of Italy’s main trade unions, CGIL and UIL, to demand salary increases and to protest against the government’s 2024 budget bill.
Workers in the public transport sector across Italy are set to fold their arms from 09.00 to 13.00 on Friday, with the exception of Milan, Naples and Bologna.
However the strike involving public sector workers will last for eight hours, affecting schools, healthcare services, post offices and rubbish collection.
The eight-hour strike action will also involve workers in the private sector in Italy’s central regions, including the Lazio region around Rome.
So which services will be affected by Friday’s strike, and when?
Buses, subways, trams, ships and ferry services in Italy will be at risk for four hours on Friday, from 09.00-13.00.
However the strike will not affect public transport services in Milan, Bologna or Naples, all of which held strikes recently and are not within the permitted timeframe to strike again so soon after the last protest.
With the exception of Trenord in the northern Lombardia region around Milan, all railway lines will face disruption from 09.00-13.00 on Friday, including Trenitalia and Italo.
In a notice on its website, Trenitalia warns that the strike may lead to changes to services, “even before the start and after its conclusion”.
Taxi services are at risk from 00.01 to midnight on Friday.
Flights and airports will operate as normal, however those travelling on Friday should note that taxi services are not guaranteed.
Employees in the public sector including health, education, postal services, cleaning and refuse collection are set to strike for eight hours on Friday, affecting post offices and medical visits as well as kindergartens, schools and universities.
Workers in companies in the central regions are also striking for eight hours or the entire working day. The regions affected are Lazio, Tuscany, Umbria, Marche, Abruzzo and Molise.
The protests by CGIL and UIL are divided into five days of strikes at an inter-regional level: on Monday 20 November it will be the turn of Sicily; Friday 24 November the northern regions; Monday 27 November Sardinia and, finally, Friday 1 December the southern regions.
CGIL and UIL are staging a large-scale demonstration at Piazza del Popolo in Rome on Friday from 09.00-13.00.
For official information about upcoming strikes in Italy see the transport ministry website.
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