Rome bus drivers call unofficial strike

Bus service down 10 per cent

Up to 100 drivers at Rome's bus company ATAC have called a wildcat strike against their company, trade unions, and the capital – the owner of the troubled public transport body.

The drivers are due to protest at the Campidoglio at 12.30 on 6 November while a separate sit-in takes place at Piazza SS. Apostoli, organised by transport trade unions whose members are appealing to Rome's mayor Ignazio Marino to "protect the working conditions of ATAC employees."

The dispute began on 4 November and the protesting drivers say it will continue until 9 November. The drivers are refusing to work overtime in protest over staff shortages, "holiday time in arrears" and "unsustainable workloads."

The action will not affect the rush-hour times guaranteed by the company during strikes (start of service until 08.30, and 17.00-20.00), however there has been about a ten per cent reduction of buses between 11.00 and 16.30 since 4 November.

The prefecture of Rome has asked drivers to cease their "abnormal form of strike." The protest at the Campidoglio is likely to reveal how much support the renegade drivers have – so far ATAC management refer to around 100 employees while the protestors claim to have over 2,000 signatures of support out of a total workforce of about 13,000.