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Fears of a lifeguard strike hang over Ferragosto

Rimini is one of the safest beach resorts in Italy precisely because every 150 metres is patrolled by the Riviera’s version of Baywatch, the lifeguards. There are nervous negotiations going on, though, in the lead up to the biggest holiday of the summer – Ferragosto weekend (Ferragosto is the 15th, and the strike is planned for the next day Saturday 16th) – as the lifeguards, who are in the midst of a pay dispute are threatening to go on strike.

It’s a serious threat because it would mean not just that swimmers would be unprotected for the day, but also that, because of strict regulations, the beach establishments that line the sandy coast would also have to remain shut. No beach loungers, and no beach umbrellas, which in turn probably means far fewer tourists at the peak of the season.

The dispute comes down, according to today’s Repubblica newspaper, to about 30 euro’s per lifeguard per month.

The first test comes this week as a threatened strike on Saturday 8th looms. It’s a battle of wills now, and it remains to be seen who’ll prevail.

We’ll keep you posted on the situation here at the Rimini blog

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