Italian truck drivers went on strike on Monday December 10th through Thursday December 13th. Life goes on right? Wrong. Italy’s supply of anything from food to medications to gasoline moves on wheels. How does this strike affect the everyday person’s life? More than you think. Imagine going to the grocery store/supermarket and finding empty shelves. You need to fill up your gas tank? Think again before hopping in your car and heading off to the gas station. Let’s hope they have gas. Will you have your job in the morning? Maybe. Fiat Group temporarily laid of more than 22,000 employees as of Tuesday afternoon and the number is expected to grow in the next few days and involve all of the 50,000 workers of the manufacturing areas. No gas at the gas stations means people are unable to put gas in their cars which means they are unable to get to work which means they are unable to put food on the table. Literally the boot is on it’s knees and is coming to a complete stop. This strike is potentially the longest transportation strike in Italy’s history. Usually transportation strikes last only a day or two. But this is ridiculous! Also, what a time of year for this to happen, right at Christmas.
Wednesday December 11th I went the grocery in hopes of getting stocked up on some perishable items, only to find slim pickings. There is a green grocer across the street from my home, but who knows how much he has at the moment. Surely eventually when this strike does end that prices on groceries will increase due companies & farmers trying to recoup losses incurred by this week-long strike.
Why are the truck drivers on strike you ask? In a nutshell to protest the rising fuel costs and deregulation of the market. Sorry people but gas is expensive for EVERYONE. Gas at the moment for unleaded averages $7 USD a GALLON. Some truck drivers have blocked roads around many of the major cities such as Rome and Milan, others have formed convoys that deliberately slowed traffic on major highways. Barricades of trucks restricted cars to a single lane on many major highways and completely blocked others. Now for those of you who think that those of us that actually live in Italy live the “La Dolce Vita”, does this seem like the Sweet Life?