A wildcat strike by Alitalia employees on Tuesday forced the cancellation of at least 20 flights at Rome's Fiumicino airport and further disruptions at airports in Milan, Naples and Venice.
Alitalia said a total of 124 flights were canceled among all its operations Tuesday as a result of the wildcat strike a day earlier, as well as because of a work-to-the-rules job action, which pilots have been waging. The airline predicted some 50 flights would have to be scratched on Wednesday.
The 24-hour walkout by pilots, flight attendants and ground staff is to protest what they say is a breach in an agreement with labour unions by a private consortium, CAI, which has offered to buy Alitalia's state-owned controlling stake.
Italian Transport Minister Altero Matteoli has branded the strike as illegal, and most of the unions representing Alitalia's 17,000 employees have not supported the strikers.
Matteoli warned striking workers could face legal action if they pressed on with threats to stage new stoppages in the coming days.