Four million Italian workers went on strike on Wednesday (26 February) to press for their demands for improved pay scales and fringe benefits to match the country's spiralling cost of living.
GV Strikers in procession carrying banners 93 shots)
GV Deserted railway station and railway yards (4 shots)
GV Empty government offices and other official buildings (3 shots)
SV Garbage piled up on roadside
Initials ET/016 ET/010
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Background: Four million Italian workers went on strike on Wednesday (26 February) to press for their demands for improved pay scales and fringe benefits to match the country's spiralling cost of living. Italy had the highest rate of inflation in Europe last year, running at 25 percent.
Trains did not run, schools were closed and government offices were deserted as the state-employed workers stayed at home. Workers in different industries coincided their industrial action to give the appearance of a general strike. The railwaymen, for example, halted the trains for 24 hours beginning on Tuesday (25 February) night and industrial and construction workers were striking for periods ranging from four to eight hours.
Rome's bus drivers were due to begin a 48-hour strike on Thursday 927 February) morning and journalists in the capital said they too would financial newspaper 'II Globo'. No Italian newspaper will be published on Friday.
This is the third major strike in the country in two months: on 23 January the country was paralysed by a four-hour general strike -- just as it had been on 4 December.