Hundreds of thousands of Italian workers held a four-hour general strike on Friday of last week against the policies of right wing prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
The CGIL union federation called the strike, which forced planes to be cancelled and brought trains and buses to a standstill.
The action also severely affected schools and hospitals.
The union is demanding lower taxes for workers, an end to job losses in a country where the unemployment rate is 8 percent, and the legalisation of migrant workers.
The following day 250,000 people joined a demonstration in Rome against Berlusconi tearing up electoral laws to allow his candidates to stand in regional elections next week.
The strikes and the protests are increasing the pressure on Berlusconi, who has also pushed through a law that may mean he won’t face a trial for tax fraud and other crimes.