Monday, June 17, 2024

Italy gripped by strike over government’s budget plan

Italian trade unions mobilised tens of thousands of people in support of a national day of strike action that challenged the government over its 2024 budget.

UIL and CGIL, two of Italy’s main national labour unions, criticised the draft budget for threatening the wellbeing of workers and for proposing measures that would limit their right to strike to address grievances,reports Xinhua news agency.

Estimates vary, but the unions said around 60,000 people joined the mass demonstration on Rome’s Piazza del Popolo on Friday, while police reports mentioned “at least” 50,000 demonstrators.

The strike was originally scheduled to last the whole day, but was reduced to four hours after an injunction from Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, who is also the Minister of Infrastructure and Transportation.

“I am proud to say we were able to reduce the inconvenience to residents by reducing the length of the strike,” Salvini said.

The transportation sector was at the heart of Friday’s strike action, though the Ministry of Transportation said the impact was limited.

Some buses were delayed, the Ministry said, adding that only around 16 per cent of regional transportation staff walked off the job.

It said that that were also no reports of the country’s high-speed rail network canceling trains.

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