March 23, 2020 / 10:33 AM / 8 days ago

Italy's Lombardy metalworkers to strike, want more firms shut due to coronavirus

ROME (Reuters) - 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.

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 unions said they would announce the details of their strike in 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.

Reporting By Gavin Jones, editing by Giulia Segreti

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