A strike against Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s plan to change labour market rules caused today disruptions in Italy’s air and ground transport.
As thousands of workers joined the eight-hour protest, about half of trains, buses, airplanes across the country were stopped, according to an e-mailed statement by organizers CGIL and UIL, two of Italy’s three largest labour unions.
Italian television RAI said thousands of people took part in demonstrations in cities including Milan, Turin, Florence and Palermo. Italy’s air and ground transport was already disrupted in October and November by separate strikes.
"We will keep fighting wrong policies in order to have a better outlook for employment in this country," CGIL chief Susanna Camusso said in Turin, according to news agency Ansa. "It’s up to the government to decide whether to prompt a conflict or discuss with us," Ansa cited Camusso as saying.
CGIL called the rally to protest Renzi’s Jobs Act, a framework bill which includes measures to ease firing and hiring rules. After obtaining the bill’s final approval by the Rome-based Parliament, the government needs now to pass a number of implementing decrees, including those creating a universal system of income support.
Renzi has repeatedly said that the new labour rules will help Italy attract investments at a time the nation’s unemployment reached 13.2 per cent, its highest on record.
Bloomberg News edited by HI