Women's Day strike hits rail, road and air transport across Italy

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Women's Day strike hits rail, road and air transport across Italy
Commuters waiting outside a bus station during a previous transport strike. File photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Italy was hit by a major transport strike on Thursday, with large parts of the country's rail, road, metro, and even air transport systems affected.


The one-day general strike was backed by trade unions and women's rights organization Non Una di Meno to mark International Women's Day on March 8th and draw attention to discrimination and violence against women.

For railway transport, the strike was scheduled to last until 9 pm on Thursday, though rail operator Trenitalia said its high speed Freccia Rossa trains would be running as normal, and links between Rome's central Termini station and the Fiumicino airport were also guaranteed.

During rush hour (6-9 am and 6-9 pm), train operators also guaranteed "essential services" as is necessary under Italian law in order to reduce the impact on commuters.

In Rome, services on the metro lines A and B were both reduced, while buses, trams, and regional train lines were also running on a reduced service. Further information of how transport is affected in Rome and regular updates throughout the day can be found on the Muoversi a Roma website.

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Taxi services were unaffected, with taxi unions not having joined the strike, however roads in Rome were congested on Thursday morning with many commuters choosing to use their car rather than risk the disruption. Authorities in Milan, however, said in the morning that the strike had not yet caused any noticeable disruption to travel, and the metro service was running as normal.

Air traffic controllers also joined the strike, with a national strike between 1 and 5 pm and a local strike at Rome's Fiumicino airport from 10am to 6 pm.

National airline Alitalia warned that it had been forced to cancel some domestic and international flights, publishing a list of the affected services on its website (here). The company urged anyone with a flight scheduled for Thursday to contact the flight operator to check its service, and said 75 percent of affected passengers would still be able to travel on the same day.

As well as transport, the school and health sectors were both affected, after several trade unions called for a general strike "in all public, private, and cooperative sectors".

Italy is one of 70 countries where women are abstaining from labour in order to raise awareness of women's rights.

READ ALSO: Hundreds of trains cancelled in Spain over women's strike


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