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Flight Attendants Strip To Their Underwear To Protest Job Losses

by : Hannah Smith on : 25 Oct 2021 08:53
Flight Attendants Strip To Their Underwear To Protest Job LossesAlamy

A group of Italian flight attendants have staged an unusual protest to oppose pay cuts and job losses implemented by the country’s national airline.

Around 50 of the former Alitalia flight attendants gathered in Rome’s Campidoglio square to protest the actions of ITA airways – which recently launched replacing Alitalia as Italy’s flagship airline – criticising the working conditions implemented by the new company, by stripping off their uniforms in public

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Former Alitalia flight attendants during their protest (Alamy)Alamy

The women arrived in the square wearing their Alitalia uniforms, before stripping to their underwear, smearing their makeup and chanting ‘We are Alitalia’. They represented some of the more than 7,000 Alitalia staff who were made redundant by the launch of ITA, with the new flagship airline retaining only 2,800 of it’s predecessor’s 10,500-strong staff. The attendants said they were also acting in solidarity with retained staff forced to sign ‘humiliating’ new contracts.

According to CNN, the shift from Alitalia to ITA airways has been roundly criticised by trade unions representing flight attendants, with representatives claiming many staff have been laid off, while others have been rehired by ITA under worse contracts, taking forced pay cuts and seniority losses and being asked to accept worse conditions, including no longer being told their schedules in advance.

Yet, despite the protest, which grabbed national attention in Italy last week, the new chief of ITA airlines has claimed that the flight attendants have no reason to complain, telling Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano protesting already-implemented changes was like looking in a rear-view mirror.

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Flight attendants protesting job losses and working conditions (Alamy)Alamy

‘Bargaining over contracts is more than finished. They are all on board, and they have signed the contract that we sent them,’ Alfredo Altavilla said, calling the rumoured threat of strike action by trade union members ‘a thing of national shame.’

Changes implemented by ITA Airways are set to be rolled out over the next few months, with the new airline undergoing a major rebranding and also expected to eventually replace the entire Alitalia fleet of aircraft.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism.

Topics: News, Italy, Now, Protest

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    Italian flight attendants strip off to protest working conditions