Alitalia workers continue wildcat strikes

Workers from Alitalia continued wildcat strikes at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport Thursday, ahead of an expected appeal from union leaders for the airline's employees to stop their protests. Alitalia said the picketing put 170 of its flights at risk on Thursday. Labor union leaders said Wednesday they would ask workers to stop protesting after the government called a meeting with unions and Alitalia's management for Feb. 1.

Workers have been protesting Alitalia's restructuring efforts, which include cutting jobs and spinning off the airline's flight unit from its less profitable ground services business. The strikes have forced Alitalia to cancel hundreds of flights over the last week, with 175 canceled on Wednesday.

Financial newspaper Il Sole-24 Ore reported Thursday that the protests were costing Alitalia Ђ10 million (US$12 million) a day, while Sky TG24 said several days would be needed to catch up on maintenance and put the airline's fleet back in full working order, reports the AP. N.U.

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