About 50 women who until recently were flight attendants for Alitalia staged a protest in Rome on Wednesday in which they stripped off their uniforms and stood chanting in their undergarments. The women chanted “We are Alitalia,” protesting the loss of their jobs, and the working conditions for the people picked up by Italy’s new national airline, CNN reports. Alitalia had been broke for years and finally went under, making its last flight Oct. 14, with carrier ITA taking its place. The new airline got about $1.58 billion from the Italian government, but has trimmed the workforce, fleet, and has fewer routes. The flight attendants who protested in their slips were calling out ITA for hiring only 3,000 of Alitalia’s 10,000 staffers, CBS News reports.
The women, who stood on Rome’s Capitoline Hill and slowly removed their bags, coats, jackets, and skirts in unison, then chanted, were calling out ITA for rehiring so few people, and at lower pay and worse conditions. An ITA flight attendant told CNN that her colleagues took pay cuts, lost their seniority, and don’t have a clear picture of what flights they’ll be working. The new airline’s president, Alfredo Altavilla dismissed the concerns, saying, “they have signed the contracts that we sent them,” per CNN. (Read more Alitalia stories.)