The government has proposed a new law intended to limit the inconvenience posed by transport strikes.

Drafted by minister of health, labour and social services Maurizio Sacconi, the law would require unions calling a strike to have combined representation of at least 50 per cent of all a public transport company's employees. In most cases, this would prevent any single union from striking independently of the others.

Strikes could also be called by a referendum of at least 20 per cent of all employees of a public transport company or 30 per cent of workers on whose behalf the strike is being called.

The law would make