Italian Ground Handlers on Strike: A Crisis in Social Dialogue and Workers’ Rights

29 Sep 2023

Government Reduces Strike Duration from 24 to 4 Hours

In an anti-strike move, the Italian Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport has reduced the duration of the ground handlers’ strike from 24 to 4 hours, effectively attacking the constitutional right to strike. The strike initially meant to draw attention to the six-year-long wait for a new collective bargaining agreement, also became a rallying point for the very essence of workers’ rights in Italy.

A Questionable Ordinance

The government, instead of being grateful to those who, during the pandemic and in the subsequent restart phases, risked their lives guaranteeing the continuity of services to airport assistance, has decided to penalize what is the weakest link in the airport chain, namely the workers. This act has not only invalidated the right to strike but has also shown the degree of respect that the Italian minister has for the workers, who have waited over six years for a collective bargaining agreement renewal.

ETF: In Solidarity with Italian Ground Handlers

The European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) stands in full solidarity with the ground-handling workers of Italy and its affiliate unions Filt-Cgil, Fit-Cisl, and UILTRASPORTI. It is essential for governments to support social dialogue and the rights of workers.

The ETF calls upon the Italian government to honour its constitutional obligations. It is not the time to undermine workers; it’s the time to engage in meaningful dialogue to resolve these long-standing issues.