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Italian railway workers strike over safety

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Italian railway workers strike over safety

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Trains have come to a halt across Italy, with rail workers on strike demanding better safety measures after a fatal crash earlier this month. The industrial action has not been officially called by the main trade unions, but by law workers are free to take part in strikes over safety matters.

The 24-hour stoppage has left passengers stranded across the country, particularly affecting morning and evening rush hour services. Officials say about 14 percent of staff walked off the job, while the percentage given by workers is much higher than that.

17 people, including five railway workers, were killed and many more injured in a crash on January 9. A passenger and a freight train collided in thick fog on the same line between Bologna and Verona. The accident raised several safety issues, which are now the focus of an official investigation.