Dozens of former flight attendants for the shuttered Italian airline Alitalia took off their uniforms on Wednesday, wearing only undergarments, in a silent, choreographed protest in central Rome.
Long financially ailing, Italy’s decades-old airline made its last flight on October 14. The next day a new airline, ITA, began flying using some of Alitalia’s aircraft. It also bought the Alitalia brand, but is laying off less than 3,000 of Alitalia’s 10,000 employees.
Union officials say those who work for ITAs are being hired at very low pay scales.
Some 50 former flight attendants stood in rows in a square atop Rome’s Capitoline Hill, lowered their company’s shoulder bags onto the cobblestone pavement, then slowly and simultaneously, removed their overcoats, then uniform jackets, then skirts, Then your high-heeled shoes.
He remained barefoot, wearing only a slip, in silence for a few minutes. Then they carefully gathered their clothes and shoes and shouted together, “We are Alitalia!”
Union leaders are pressuring the government to increase unemployment benefits for five years.