A general strike called by two major Italian trade unions on Friday hit schools, hospitals, airports, highways, ports and public transport across the country, as public and private sector workers protested against unpopular reforms to the labor market and cuts to public spending.And those are the Italian haves. They're worried that the have-nots might be allowed to replace them, if hiring and firing was easier;
Italy's National Institute for Statistics reports that 17 percent of Italians, about 10 million people, live in relative poverty. More than six million - 10 percent - live in absolute poverty, mostly in the country's southern regions. While a record number of Italian families are struggling to get by, experts point out it is the country's youth, many of whom have never held down of full-time job, who have the most to be worried about.
"The young people in Italy have been bearing the weight of the high turnover jobs and the older people have decided never to change jobs in order not to lose that job security," says Elisabetta Addis, economics professor at the University of Sasseri, referring to what many in Italy call "employment apartheid."Rising inequality that Thomas Piketty isn't concerned about?