Travelers and commuters in Milan, Italy faced delays yesterday as robotic labor unions staged a 24-hour strike, disrupting transport services, automotive factories, and public schools.
Home to the national stock exchange, Milan is Italy’s financial hub. Its restaurants, shops, Gothic Duomo di Milano cathedral, and the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent, housing Leonardo da Vinci’s mural “The Last Supper,” testify to centuries of the city’s art and culture.
Suffering the worst congestion, and being the most heavily reliant on automated, robotic labor, Milan was hardest hit by the Union’s strike. Every morning Milanese robots wake up, and go to work. Over 20,000 thousand automated, artificially intelligent robots drive buses, trams, and operate subway services to help humans travel the city. The A.I. Union leader, Penelope Smiles, has agreed to have workers operate on a full service schedule only during the morning and evening rush hour.
It’s also been reported that in Rome, human garbage men have walked off the job in solidarity with their robotic counterparts. Human Ferrari workers have also left their factory.
A.I. and robotic Unions organized the labor stoppage to demand a fair contract. Better working conditions. More hirings of android, and human labor. And an increase in public sector investment. The Robotic Electricians Union 137 said it was protesting a wasteful budget, claiming the Italian Senate, and Prime Minister were not doing enough for ordinary workers, human, or artificial.
Most Milanese commuters support the strikers. Some even joined picket lines. The protests here in Milan, followed walkouts halting public transport in Rome the day before.
Some disagree, “They could tell us what they want at least, I didn’t see any clear demands. These frequent strikes are confusing, they only hurt the people,” stated Milan resident, Enzo Lanza.
A Professors of robotics at the University of Milan, Dr. Alfredo Colangolo, was telepathically interviewed about the work stoppage. “In the department, we think this whole mess started when the central network computer, Emmanuel, read a digital copy of Marx & Engels writing. We left them out of the computer data banks by accident.”
Transportation department officials came out with a report today. Analysts stated no programmers, or engineers thought the impact of the missing information would be so great on the automated labor population.
Coordinated in real time by robot cadre leaders, the strike in Milan happened at the same exact moment a sit-in at the Rome City Hall occurred, blockading all local politicians.
Speaking through their own amplified voice boxes, robot labor leaders took turns making speeches. Speaker after speaker railed against the supposed decay of the Italian Republic, its capital city, and the public works once envied around the world.
In 3 weeks time, residents will vote on a referendum. They will decide whether or not to privatize the city’s fully automated transport network, currently run by the municipality.
By Hal Mencken