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Metalworkers in Italy’s coronavirus-ravaged Lombardy region to strike, want more businesses closed

File photo of Italian army soldiers deployed to Lombardy to enforce the coronavirus lockdown, March 21, 2020.
File photo of Italian army soldiers deployed to Lombardy to enforce the coronavirus lockdown, March 21, 2020. REUTERS - DANIELE MASCOLO

Metalworkers unions in Italy's northern Lombardy region said on Monday they would strike to protect the health of their members because a government decree temporarily shutting many businesses due to coronavirus contained too many loopholes and exceptions.

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The three main unions, FIOM, FIM and UILM, said in a statement that the list of companies that can continue working "has been excessively extended, covering areas of dubious importance" and allowing firms "excessive discretion" in applying for exemptions.

Lombardy is the Italian region worst hit by the epidemic, which killed 5,476 people nationwide up to Sunday.

The statement noted the unions would hold a one-day strike on Wednesday and would announce details in the coming days. The government decree, signed on Sunday, says all but "essential" businesses must close until April 3, and sets out a long list of sectors deemed essential.

Over the weekend, Communist-run Cuba dispatched a brigade of doctors and nurses to Italy to help in the fight against the novel coronavirus at the request of Lombardy authorities as the region struggles to cope with the crisis.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS)

 

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