In most cities, buses and subways were to suspend services for most of the day apart from the evening rush hour. Train workers began a 24-hour strike late on Sunday.
"The unions are asking for the renewal of the national work contract for over 250,000 employees," said Francesco Lucirino, secretary general of the Cosnil union. "We've been waiting for more than seven months for a move by the government and we have not received any answer on renewing contracts."
The strike is expected to cost the transport system 350,000 euros in all, Lucirino said. It is expected to be the first of several strikes in Italy this month, with airport workers scheduled to strike later this month.
Car traffic in Rome was heavier than usual. Frustrated commuters and travellers, who had hoped the strike would not be adhered to by all workers, formed long lines at bus stops and train stations across the country.
"I wasn't organised, I had to travel anyway and if I arrive I have been lucky and if I don't I just won't get there. I think I will be here hanging around until this evening," said commuter Fiametta Stella.
Last Mod: 07 Temmuz 2008, 17:31