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

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

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)

Strikes are a regular occurrence during Italy’s busy summer months – 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. 

At present, there are no major strikes scheduled for August, though the situation is constantly changing.

Italy’s 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 – especially in the case of taxi drivers, who have held a series of unannounced demonstrations in Rome and other cities in recent weeks.

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.

Rail strikes

There are no railway strikes planned for August.

Should 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.

You can check here which national and regional trains are guaranteed in case of a strike.

The company also advises passengers to pay “close attention” to strike-related announcements made at stations or on their online platforms.

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

Airline strikes

At the moment there are no airline or airport staff strikes scheduled for August.

After a number of planned strikes caused a significant degree of disruption to travellers over the course of June and July, Italian trade unions seem to have momentarily buried the hatchet.

But, once again, unforeseen airline strikes are not to be categorically excluded. 

Note that strikes affecting your destination country could also affect your trip. Notably, some flights may be cancelled due to EU-wide staff shortages.

As such, passengers should always reach out to their airline to check whether their journeys will take place as planned.

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

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: What are your rights if flights are delayed or cancelled?

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.

Transport strikes of all types are common in Italy during the summer months.

However, 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.

This article will be updated throughout the summer.

Member comments

  1. 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?

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TRAVEL NEWS

EU delays passport scan system and €7 travel fee until 2023

Two major changes that were due to come into force in 2022 for travellers entering the EU - an enhanced passport scanning system and the introduction of a €7 visa for tourists - have been delayed for a year.

EU delays passport scan system and €7 travel fee until 2023

Although both the EES and ETIAS schemes are still due to be introduced in the European Commission has pushed back the start dates for both until 2023.

It comes amid a chaotic summer for travel in Europe, with airports struggling with staff shortages and strikes while some crossings from the UK to France have been hit by long delays as extra post-Brexit checks are performed during the peak holiday season. 

The two separate changes to travel in the EU and Schengen zone were originally due to come into effect in 2020, but were delayed because of the pandemic. Now the EES system is expected to come into effect in May 2023, while ETIAS will come into effect in November 2023. 

The EES – Entry and Exit System – is essentially enhanced passport scanning at the EU’s borders and means passports will not only be checked for ID and security, but also for entry and exit dates, in effect tightening up enforcement of the ’90 day rule’ that limits the amount of time non-EU citizens can spend in the Bloc without having a visa.

It will not affect non-EU citizens who live in an EU country with a residency permit or visa.

There have been concerns that the longer checks will make transiting the EU’s external borders slower, a particular problem at the UK port of Dover, where the infrastructure is already struggling to cope with enhanced post-Brexit checks of people travelling to France.

You can read a full explanation of EES, what it is and who is affects HERE.

The ETIAS system will apply to all non-EU visitors to an EU country – eg tourists, second-home owners, those making family visits and people doing short-term work.

It will involve visitors registering in advance for a visa and paying a €7 fee. The visa will be valid for three years and can be used for multiple trips – essentially the system is very similar to the ESTA visa required for visitors to the USA. 

Residents of an EU country who have a residency card or visa will not need one.

You can read the full details on ETIAS, how it works and who it affects HERE.

Both systems will apply only to people who do not have citizenship of an EU country – for example Brits, Americans, Australians and Canadians – and will be used only at external EU/Schengen borders, so it won’t be required when travelling between France and Germany, for example. 

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