General strikes to hit Spain and Italy on International Women’s Day

Planes, trains, buses and taxis will be halted on 8 March in Italy and Spain as unions demand an end to gender inequality

This year’s International Women’s Day won’t be easy for commuters as Italian and Spanish unions have proclaimed a “general strike of all workers in the public and private sectors”.

The unions, protesting mostly against gender inequality, will halt trains, buses, trains and taxis from various providers.

Ada Colau, mayor of Barcelona, will join the protest to end gender inequality —  Dino Geromella / Shutterst general strikes Italy Spain
Ada Colau, mayor of Barcelona, will join the Spanish protest to end gender inequality — Dino Geromella / Shutters

Air traffic control will be affected in both countries, while Italian airlines will be hit by the action.

The two largest Spanish unions, Workers’ Commissions (CCOO) and General Union of Workers (UGT), registered the general strike at the Ministry of Employment and Social Security on 19 February “calling the workers to participate in demanding concrete actions that will put an end to the added labor exploitation suffered by women and the different forms of violence of which they are victims”.

High profile figures such as Manuela Carmena, the mayor of Madrid, and Ada Colau, her counterpart in Barcelona, are to join the “Feminist Strike” called for 8 March, International Women’s Day.

Ms Colau stated that is time for women to demand an end to discrimination, male violence, and to the salary gap. “In a 21st century democracy this is not admissible,” she said.  

The unions aim to reject the inequality and discrimination suffered by women in the labour market, the wage gap in particular. They want to end the chronification of female unemployment in Spain, as well as “radically reject gender-based violence and the lack of measures (in all areas, but with special regard to the workplace) for the protection of victims of gender violence”.

“Together today we will stop the world and cry: Enough!” the 8M Commission, a Spanish feminist umbrella group, urged in its manifesto.

In Italy, planes will be affected for the whole day on 8 March. Trains for 21 hours, from 00:00 to 21:00. Local transportation difficulties will differ depending on the exact location.

Some of Air Italy, formerly Meridiana, personnel will be on strike for 4 hours. Part of the Alitalia staff will be on strike for the whole day. ENAV airport personnel will be on strike for 4 hours, from 11 pm to 5 pm.

Travellers are advised to check further details with the airlines directly.