Strikes and More Strikes

Italy’s 155,000 public medical employees are on strike today, led, with unusual unanimity, by all 42 of their unions. The major issue is that their contracts were due to be renewed two years ago (I suppose that implies cost-of-living increases, at least), and have not been, due to disagreements between the federal and regional governments over who should pay. The medics have also issued a multi-point protest document demanding the de-politicization of hospital appointments and more control by the medical personnel of their shifts and how their work is organized, which seem reasonable demands.

Alitalia is also on strike, protesting a restructuring plan for the struggling airline which would cut at least 1500 jobs. I don’t sympathize with this one. The entire airline industry is in trouble; why should we taxpayers pay to keep an ill-managed national airline afloat when better and/or cheaper flights are widely available? I fly low-cost airlines so I can go more places, more often, but I lose that advantage if I also have to pay more taxes to benefit Alitalia employees.

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