Throughout Italy a 24 hour national strike by bus drivers forced millions of people to get to work the best way they could on Friday (15 July).
Throughout Italy a 24 hour national strike by bus drivers forced millions of people to get to work the best way they could on Friday (15 July). Some took to their cars causing major traffic jams, others walked or hitched rides, while many people decided to stay at home. The striking unions, representing about 150,000 bus drivers, say they want better working conditions and higher pay.
SYNOPSIS: In Rome, the bus stations were crammed with commuters who apparently know nothing of the crippling strike.
Others tried to catch taxis, but the queues grew longer as the day progress and empty taxis were almost impossible to find. Public Transport in Italy has not been affected in this way since a similar strike in 1970.
The cause of this paralysing industrial action reportedly lies in the Government's failure to adhere to a new contract agreed over 13 months ago. The drivers want more money, better conditions and local transit companies to hire more people.
In Rome, huge traffic jams clogged the city streets. Angry drivers had to endure not only each other's impatience, but also a sweltering heatwave.
The strike is the latest in a series of stoppages and is seen as an indication of the trouble that could lie ahead if the government and unions representing drivers are unable to solve their differences.