Antonio Romano, who was distributing leaflets to protesters, said the government’s strategy is “make the workers and retired people pay for the crisis, not those who provoked the crisis. I mean big business, bankers.”
A transit strike of several hours idled the subway system and many buses in Rome. Milan was hit by a similar transit walkout.
State railways said a 24-hour nationwide train strike, called by one small union, affected only 5 percent of the train rains.
Alitalia reduced flights Thursday, warning that a four-hour afternoon strike in the air travel sector could cause flight delays. The walkout mainly involved air traffic controllers and airport workers, not Alitalia personnel.
• Victor L. Simpson contributed from Rome.