Protest at Rome’s Fiumicino airport

An unscheduled protest by employees of the duty free shops at Rome's Fiumicino airport led to some passengers missing their flights as well as delays at check-in, on Tuesday 15 January.

The workers blocked traffic from accessing Terminal 1 and 2 in a protest over the layoff of 44 of their colleagues from the World Duty Free Group.

The company, which is owned by Italian group Autogrill, had managed seven shops at Fiumicino airport before transferring its duty free management to LS Travel Retail, a subsidiary of France's Lagardere Services Group. The new administration, which fired the 44 workers on 4 January, will operate eight duty free shops at Fiumicino and Ciampino airports, under a contract running until 2026.

Since the layoffs were announced last December, the duty free employees have staged three separate protests, including a hunger strike, as well as maintaining a permanent presence outside the offices of the Rome airport management company Aeroporti di Roma (ADR).

So far attempts to resolve the situation have failed.