'Così Non Va!': General Strike Against Austerity Sweeps Italy

Under the banner of “‘Così non va!'” (This is unacceptable!), a general strike is sweeping Italy on Friday as public and private sector workers stage their opposition to austerity reforms that erode worker protections.

Organized by the first and third largest unions in the country—the Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro and the Unione Italiana del Lavoro—the eight-hour walkout hit 50 cities across the country, with massive protests slated for Turin, Milan, Rome, and Genoa.

The unions say the massive work action has so far stopped half of the country’s trains, buses and flights.

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Friday’s strike is the latest in a series of public demonstrations against Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s new Jobs Act, which slashes a number of key labor protections, including by making it easier for companies to fire workers without severance compensation and more difficult for employees to stage grievances against unlawful dismissal.