Italy premier urges Alitalia workers to OK compromise deal

Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni is urging Alitalia workers to approve a compromise deal to relaunch Italy's struggling flagship airline that was reached in last-ditch negotiations between unions and Alitalia management.

The government-mediated deal reached early Friday reduces proposed job and salary cuts and calls for greater investment in the long-range routes that analysts say are critical for Alitalia's survival. It will be put to a referendum of Alitalia workers next week.

At a press conference Friday, Gentiloni said: "I hope it's confirmed by the workers ... Alitalia is a private company but the government hasn't spared any effort to find a turnaround plan."

Alitalia was taken over nearly three years ago by Etihad Airlines after being run by an all-Italian consortium led by banks Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo.