New national strike set to disrupt Italy’s public transport on Friday

Disruption to local public transport is expected on Friday with transport staff joining an eight-hour strike over employers’ ‘failure’ to protect them from violence.

Passengers waiting for buses at a bus station in Rome.
The strike scheduled for Friday, September 16th will be the second demonstration by public transport staff in the space of two weeks. Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

LATEST: How will Italy’s Friday public transport strike affect travel?

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

At the time of writing it wasn’t yet clear how the strike would affect passengers, though significant delays or cancellations can’t be ruled out for all types of public transport. 

The strike’s starting time had not yet been disclosed on Tuesday.

Italian trade unions called the strike action in protest against “repeated violent physical attacks suffered by drivers, ticket inspectors and station masters […] from all over the country in the past few months”.

Unions slammed an “intolerable” failure of companies to protect staff from assault, saying further strikes could be expected if their demands were not met.

The upcoming strike will be the second public transport demonstration in the space of only two weeks. 

Last Friday, train staff participated in an eight-hour strike over the same issues, causing significant travel disruption between 9am and 5pm.

There have been numerous reports of physical attacks against public transport staff over the past few months. 

At the end of last month, in the province of Pavia (Lombardy), a bus driver was hospitalised after being assaulted by a young passenger who had been previously caught smoking on board.  

More recently, another bus driver, this time near Arezzo (Tuscany), was spat at after asking a passenger to put a muzzle on their dog.

Those planning to travel on Friday are advised to check the status of their journey with their public transport operator before setting off. 

You may be entitled to compensation or a refund should your scheduled trips be significantly delayed or cancelled. 

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Italian low-cost airline staff to strike on October 1st

Pilots and flight attendants from Ryanair and Vueling will strike on Saturday, October 1st over wages and working conditions, unions said.

Italian low-cost airline staff to strike on October 1st

Pilots and cabin crew from Ryanair and Vueling will take part in a national strike action on Saturday, October 1st, Italian unions confirmed in a statement released on Monday. 

The statement said Ryanair staff will hold a 24-hour walkout, whereas Vueling staff will strike for a total of four hours, from 1pm to 5pm.

At the time of writing it wasn’t yet clear how the strike would affect passengers, though significant delays or cancellations can’t be ruled out. 

Italian trade unions Filt-Cgil and Uiltrasporti called the strike in protest against the employers’ failure to “grant acceptable working conditions and wages that are in line with minimum national salaries”. 

Unions also slammed Spanish airline Vueling’s decision to lay off 17 flight attendants based in Rome’s Fiumicino Airport “after months of hard work and professionalism”. 

A Vueling Airbus A320 plane.

Staff from Spanish airline Vueling will strike over working conditions and the recent lay-off of 17 flight attendants. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

The upcoming strike will be the latest in a long series of demonstrations that rocked Europe’s airline industry over the summer, causing significant disruption to thousands of air passengers. 

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

The last significant strike was held on Monday of last week, when a 24-hour national strike from unionised ground staff caused Italy’s flag carrier, ITA Airways, to cancel several domestic flights. 

On that occasion, ITA said affected passengers were rebooked on the first available flights.

As with all previous strikes, passengers travelling with Ryanair or Vueling on Saturday, October 1st are advised to contact their airline for updates prior to setting off.

In the event of delays and/or cancellations, the rights of all passengers are protected by EU regulation EC 261. This applies to any air passenger flying within the EU/Schengen zone, arriving in the EU/Schengen zone from a non-EU country by means of a EU-based airline (all airlines involved in the strike are EU-based) or departing from the EU/Schengen zone. 

READ ALSO: Passports: What are the post-Brexit rules for dual-nationals travelling in Europe?

According to this regulation, airlines are financially accountable for any journey disruption they are responsible for. That includes disruptions caused by airline staff strikes. Therefore, should your flight be significantly delayed or cancelled, you might be entitled to receive compensation from your airline. 

For further information on what you might be entitled to and in which cases, check our guide here.