Strikes in Italy

With the summer travel season getting into full gear, you can expect more transport strikes. This is one of the most popular times for workers to strike in Italy because it hits at the heart of the Italian tourism industry, and they don’t like strikes anymore than you do.

While strikes might seem like a horrible inconvenience, it would be helpful to make sure there are no strikes that are taking place on any days that you are arriving or leaving by plane (or whatever your transportation may be) before booking your flight. Strikes in Italy tend be announced before they occur and are almost never “on the fly”.

The site below will be helpful, of course, but it is impossible to plan for every eventuality. It is better to accept strikes as part of Italian culture. Should they occur during your trip, make the best of a bad situation — most international flights tend to stay on schedule during strikes, as a rule, but there are always exceptions to the rule depending on the level of discontent.

Check out this web site:

http://www.commissionegaranziasciopero.it

While it is in Italian, it’s not too complicated to understand. How to use it?

  1. Click on the image of the calendar.
  2. Another screen will pop up. This is where it gives you the option to search. I wouldn’t bother with doing specific searches. Simply press the button that reads Elenco Scioperi (Strikes Listing).
  3. When the list comes up, it is broken down by profession. The professions that probably interest you the most would be: Trasporto Aereo, Trasporto Treno or anything else connected to transport.
  4. The date that the strike will take place is below each profession category (you’ll see the profession category in red, such as Trasporto Aereo). Remember that in Europe, the date is written as day.month.year (such as 18.07.2008 = July 18, 2008).
  5. At the bottom left hand of each entry, you’ll see the words Stato dello Sciopero. If you see a date next to the word Revocato it means that the strike was cancelled on that date (This is common — Unions will call a strike and then will rescind it later, which sometimes does just as much damage as the strike itself). Just because a strike is revoked does not mean it has been cancelled completely. Below each Revocato is the word Differito al which means “deferred to” – in other words, has the strike been rescheduled?
  6. Also, take note of the location — look for the words Informazioni sullo sciopero. Under that heading are two words: Comune and Provincia. Some strikes are local so check to see if the strike will be affecting your location. Modalità will tell you when the strike will take place. The strike date is where it says Data Sciopero. This is located at the top of the each entry.

This site also maintains a list of National Strikes (Scioperi Nazionali). Click on the button (instead of clicking Elenco Sciopero) to see if any nationwide strikes are planned. This strikes will encompass the entire country and not just a particular region or city. This portion of the site is easier to use. There are six columns, from left to right are:

Strike Date, Sector, Company, Unions Involved, Duration and Time

While you might be focused on transport strikes, don’t forget that other strikes can cause problems too. Sometimes these strikes can involve clogging roads and important motorways and other unions and groups might strike in sympathy. Always check to make sure your plane, train or ferry is going to depart. If you’re staying in a hotel, ask the desk to check before you head out.