Rome

August gas-station strike in Italy postponed

Sector union suspend action, pending talks

August gas-station strike in Italy postponed

(ANSA) - Rome, July 27 - Italian motorists and holidaymakers breathed a sigh of relief on Friday when a planned strike on August 4 and 5 by unions representing gas stations was suspended, pending the outcome of meetings with oil companies. In mid-July, gas stations announced three days of strike action against industry price hikes and the alleged failure of the government to protect the sector. Strikes had originally been slated for the first weekend of August, beginning August 3, but the number of strike days was reduced by one by a commission assigned to review to assess the legitimacy of the strike. Sector unions Faib, Fegica, Cisl and Figisc/Anisa have blamed the government for simply "watching laws being broken" by petroleum industry giants which the gas station operators say are "driving them to ruin." They demanded action from the government, which in turn promised to meet with the petrol industry association Unione Petrolifera. Meetings with individual oil companies are expected to start next week. The unions say they could still strike in September depending on the outcome of the talks. A major session involving the Ministry of Economic Development is planned for Sept. 15.

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