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Planes and trains: Italy’s calendar for 2022 summer strikes

The Local Italy
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Planes and trains: Italy’s calendar for 2022 summer strikes
Employees of Italian airline Alitalia take part in a protest outside a terminal of Rome's Fiumicino airport on October 15, 2021, as new Italian airline company ITA commences operations. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

Unions representing railway, airline and public transport staff have already called several strikes in Italy this summer - but will more disruption follow?

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Strikes are a regular occurrence during Italy's early and late summer - especially in the transport sector.

This year is no exception. Strikes over wages and working conditions began in June and continued throughout July, causing significant disruption to those travelling to, from and within the country. 

Industrial action in Italy's transport sector is however paused during the peak summer travel period from the end of July to the beginning of September.

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Now that the summer transport strike break is over, strikes are restarting in early September.

With strikes being so heavily regulated in Italy, the transport ministry has a handy calendar showing any scheduled local, regional or national strike action, which you can find here.

But unplanned demonstrations can't be ruled out - for example in the case of taxi drivers, who have held a series of unannounced demonstrations in Rome and other cities this summer.

Here we'll list any national strikes likely to cause serious disruption.

Public transport 

Public transport staff will take part in a nationwide eight-hour strike on Friday, September 16th.

The strike will last from 9am until 5pm, with significant delays and/or cancellations expected for all types of public transport, especially local and interregional rail services. 

READ ALSO: Italy hit by travel disruption in national rail strike on Friday

The strike action was called by a series of Italian trade unions to protest against “the violent and reiterated physical attacks suffered by drivers, ticket inspectors and station masters [...] from all over the country in the past few months”.

More details about the strike can be found here.

Rail strikes

Staff from Trenitalia Tper, the company operating train services in the Emilia-Romagna region, will take part in a 23-hour strike between Sunday, September 18th and Monday, September 19th.

The strike action will start at 3.31am on Sunday and end at 2.30am on Monday. However, Trenitalia Tper has informed customers that the strike “might cause disruption to regular services before its start and after its conclusion”. 

They’ve also added that delays and cancellations might not be limited to Emilia-Romagna but affect “surrounding regions” as well. 

By law, all Italian railway companies must guarantee a minimum number of essential services during strike actions. Guaranteed train services for Emilia-Romagna are available here.

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There are no other nationwide rail strikes currently planned.

Should any last-minute strikes be organised, national operator Trenitalia, which runs high-speed Frecce services as well as many regional and local lines, ensures "minimum transport services" in agreement with trade unions.

See more about guaranteed services from Trenitalia.

Fair warning: you can expect delays, overcrowding and cancellations even before or after the actual strike times.

Airline strikes

There are no nationwide airline strikes currently planned.

However, airlines continue to advise passengers to check the status of their flight before starting their journey.

Please note that cancellations or delays can also be caused by strikes affecting airports in other countries, and some flights may be cancelled due to staff shortages in countries other than Italy.

For information on the compensation air passengers might be entitled to in case of flight delays or cancellations, check out our guide here.

How bad are strikes in Italy?

National strikes often turn out to be less disruptive than expected, partly because both railway operators and airlines tend to guarantee essential services during all strike actions.

However, the magnitude of any planned demonstration largely depends on the level of participation by  staff in the industries involved.

And in the case of airports and airlines, the country doesn't seem to have been hit by the severe staffing shortages seen in some other EU states. This is likely due to Italy's ban on layoffs amid the pandemic and the financial incentives offered to companies to keep staff on reduced hours instead of firing them.

What's the reason behind summer strikes?

Most of the strikes are over wage disputes, with unions saying that the soaring cost of living should result in salary increases for staff. Some unions mentioned "arbitrary wage cuts" and "companies' refusal to grant minimum annual leave over the summer" as well.

However, the public transport strike scheduled for September 16th was called to demand greater safety measures for staff after a series of violent incidents.

In a recent press release, unions have criticised employers for their “intolerable” failure to “intervene in defence of their staff”, with further strikes to be expected should the present requests not be met. 

This article will be updated throughout the summer.

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Comments (2)

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Anonymous 2022/07/16 08:26
Hello, there was a local train strike last weekend 10-11 July in Tuscany and Emeglia Romana but you did not mention it here. It was extremely disruptive.
Anonymous 2022/07/07 18:35
Thank you for the strike summary. If there a web site that details the strikes (to include train/plan lines/routes and times) that can be referenced which is kept up to date?
  • Amanda Previdelli 2022/07/08 14:57
    Hi, yes there are a few. You can check the <a href="https://www.cgsse.it" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow ugc">Commissione Garanzia Sciopero</a>, for example. Or the <a href="http://scioperi.mit.gov.it/mit2/public/scioperi" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow ugc">Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Transporte</a>. We will, of course, also keep you posted on this post and <a href="http://www.thelocal.it" target="_blank" rel="noopener nofollow ugc">The Local Italia</a>.

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