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Italy faces public transport strike on Friday 15 December

Unions confirm strike 10 days before Christmas.

Trade unions have confirmed a 24-hour public transport strike in Italy on Friday 15 December, after postponing a protest originally scheduled for Monday 27 November.

The dispute is set to affect local bus, subway and tram services, with strike timetables varying in Rome, Milan and other cities across Italy.

Friday's strike is a direct challenge to Italy's transport minister and deputy premier Matteo Salvini who had issued an injunction to reduce the strike planned on 27 November from 24 hours to four hours.

Salvini used the same mechanism last month to limit the effect of a general strike on the nation's transport network, infuriating trade unions.

In a statement published on the transport ministry website on 24 November, Salvini said the right to strike is "sacrosanct" but stressed his determination "to reduce the inconvenience for citizens as much as possible, also in light of strikes which have now become very frequent, and which affect the transport sector with particular insistence."

"Too often strikes create complications right on the last day before the weekend or at the start of the working week", Salvini concluded.

The unions hit back at the move, saying it was "anything but unexpected" but stressing that this "does not take away the seriousness of what was decided by Salvini."

"We reject the illegitimate reduction and challenge the anti-strike minister on 15 December", unions said in a joint statement.

In Rome the strike will affect ATAC and Roma TPL services from 08.30 to 17.00 and from 20.00 until end of service.

In Milan the strike is set to disrupt ATM transport services from 08.45 to 15.00 and after 18.00.

In Naples the city's public transport network is guaranteed from 05.30 to 20.30 and from 17.00 to 20.00, according to the ANM website, while for strike details in Turin check the GTT website.

The unions' reasons for striking include demands for better pay, improved working conditions, increased safety in the workplace and the fight against privatisation.

For official information about public transport strikes in Italy see the transport ministry website.

Photo credit: Travelling Jack / Shutterstock.com.

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