After a brief Christmas truce, Italian public transport workers staged another 24-hour strike today in protest at a recent pay deal.
The nationwide transport strike came a day after another stoppage by air traffic controllers forced the cancellation of 600 domestic and international flights.
In a bid to mitigate the hardships of today’s strike, officials in Milan and other cities imposed an order guaranteeing some transport service during the morning and afternoon rush hours.
But the strike was still expected to make life difficult for commuters, particularly with rainy weather hitting much of Italy.
A group of small unions organised the strike complaining that a pay rise agreed between the government and Italy’s three largest unions is too small.
This week’s strikes are just the first in what could be a difficult few weeks.
Staff at national airline Alitalia have called a stoppage on January 19 in protest at lay-off plans.
Unions have also threatened another nationwide general strike if the government doesn’t cave into their demands on altering its plans to reform Italy’s generous pension system.
“If the government goes ahead with the pension bill, we can’t rule out further industrial action,” said Morena Piccinini, a senior official at Italy’s largest union Cgil.