Source Pravda.Ru

Italia: state airline announces plans to cancel 230 flights during general transport strike

State airline Alitalia announced late Tuesday it would cancel 230 flights during a four-hour general strike labor unions have called for later this week to protest the government's 2006 budget proposal.

The carrier said in a statement it was canceling 105 national flights and 125 international flights Friday, but did not released details.

Italy's three main labor unions called the strike for Nov. 25 in response to the proposed budget, which includes some Ђ20 billion (US$23.4 billion) in spending cuts and revenue-raising measures to keep Italy's deficit in check. Among the proposed measures are Ђ2 billion (US$2.34 billion) of cuts in the social security costs that companies pay on their work force.

The government has won a confidence vote in the Senate tied to the budget, which must now be approved by the lower house before the end of the year.

Strikes have in recent years hit Italian industrial production, which is struggling to emerge from a prolonged recession, reported AP. P.T.