A 24-hour strike by local transport workers paralyzed Italian cities on Friday with buses, trams and metro rail systems all affected. Marcello Panettoni, head of a coalition of unions representing transport workers, accused local government agencies of starving public transport of funds. The unions are protesting budget cuts and the lack of a new contract.
Officials said the strike involved the entire country except the island of Sardinia. Massive traffic jams were reported on Rome's major arteries. Local transport officials in Milan said its three metro lines were not running and more than 60 percent of bus and tram drivers did not report for work. In Naples, fewer than one-third of local buses were on the street,