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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Uh, About That Strike Truce for the Olympics

As I have told you before, the Italians like to strike or at least threaten a strike -- not as much as they used to -- but it is still in their blood. Over the past week or so, wildcat strikes by Alitalia workers opposed to splitting off the company's ground operations, have disrupted flights. One strike two days ago paralyzed Turin's airport.

As Reuters reports today, Prime Minister Berlusconi, who must get this straightened out to save Italy's and his own reputation, is walking a very delicate line in making accusations about the unions' (who agreed to a strike truce for the Olympics) potential involvement in these latest actions.

So what does this mean for those of you (and me) traveling to the Olympics? I hope I am not being naive, but I am still planning on buying a ticket on Alitalia to fly to Italy in early February. They happen to have the only non-stop from Washington, DC to Milan. Those of you who have a choice, may want to book on another airline. But as I told a newspaper reporter this morning, I have been to Italy nearly 20 times and have never been caught in a strike (knock on wood), so I am optimistic.

BUT always pays to be informed -- these are wildcat strikes, so there may be no warning of them -- but if and when you're traveling to Italy, it is a good idea to check the Italian's Government's Strike Authority Web site.


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