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Italy's nationwide train strike ends early after government order

The Local Italy
The Local Italy - [email protected]
Italy's nationwide train strike ends early after government order
A passenger at Milan's Central station. Italy's rail platforms were quiet on Thursday morning amid a nationwide rail strike. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

A train strike across Italy on Thursday will end earlier than planned after the transport ministry ordered trade unions to cut the walkout’s length from 23 hours to 12.

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The strike will now end at 3pm on Thursday instead of 2am on Friday.

Transport minister Matteo Salvini signed an ordinance on Wednesday night forcing trade unions to cut the strike short after negotiations earlier in the day had failed to result in an agreement.

Salvini on Wednesday justified his decision to halve the walkout’s length saying that “leaving a million Italians stranded, with temperatures up to 35 degrees” was “unthinkable”.

The ministry said its decision was backed by the national Strike Guarantee Commission and came with the assurance that talks between trade unions and rail companies would immediately resume.

Union leaders branded the move "shameful, wrong and illegitimate," pointing out that a lot of trains had already been cancelled as the strike had been scheduled for several weeks.

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Cgil union secretary general Stefano Malorgio said he now expected Salvini could make a similar move to reduce or cancel an airport strike planned for Saturday, July 15th.

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