Italian unions unleash massive strike action to demand a fair and functioning transport sector

The European Transport Workers' Federation's (ETF) Italian affiliate unions Filt-Cgil, Fit-Cisl and Uiltrasporti are calling a strike for workers in all land- and sea-based transport sectors for Wednesday 24 July 2019. Urban public transport, railways, ports and motorways will all be affected. Civil aviation workers will strike on Friday 26 July. Under the slogan "Let’s get the country moving again!" the three unions offer a shared vision for Italian transport, which is currently suffering from weak investment, tax evasion and illegal work.

This strike action is necessary because the government has so far refused to engage with the unions, their concerns and their proposals. Sporadic meetings about specific crisis situations are not enough. The efficiency of transport in Italy is being undermined, and both passengers and workers are suffering the effects. A poorly run transport system is damaging the entire Italian economy, and jeopardises the future of workers in the sector, with the risk of further job losses without a rapid intervention.

The entire transport sector needs a new, positive and sustainable vision, and the unions are ready to provide it. Investments in the sector should not be seen as a costly expenditure, but as a vital commitment to the quality transport services we need to support the economy and offer every citizen the right to mobility, education and work.

To build a transport sector fit for the future, we must shine a light on the practices and conditions hidden in the opaque way we work today. That means we must strengthen collective bargaining between truly representative social partners. The government must ensure that transport workers are protected from social dumping and a race to the bottom on wages and conditions. We need fair, well-implemented rules to prevent tax evasion and illegal work. Safety is also an urgent priority, as accidents and sadly even deaths have revealed in recent months.

This vision, of fair transport for workers, customers and passengers, is what has led our Italian unions to stand together in this week’s strike action. With this co-ordinated strike action, our affiliates are fighting for the very same value that we defend across Europe. That is why we are proud to support them with the voices of 5 million transport workers!