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Alitalia Pilots Threaten Strike

June 30, 1999

ROME (AP) _ Pilots and flight attendants for Italian carrier Alitalia have threatened a four-hour strike on July 5, but officials said Wednesday they were optimistic about a negotiated end to the contract dispute.

The unions and airline are currently in talks aimed at heading off the midday strike, which would affect all Alitalia flights originating in Italy.

The negotiations are expected to go down to the wire, but airline and airport officials said they were hopeful that the job action can be avoided.

Maria Eva Meldolesi, a spokeswoman for Aeroporti di Roma, said both sides appear ready to avoid disrupting the busy summer travel season.

A complex contract dispute is behind the planned strike, which would kick off a week of walkouts affecting rail and sea travel in Italy.

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