Apparently NPR recently ran a story on public transit strikes in Italy. For those who are worried, yes, I take the bus and/or tram to and from work. Yes, there are strikes. No, it does not really make that much of a difference.
Strikes are a regular occurrence around here, and from what I've heard, in Europe in general. As far as the transportation strikes, the workers are quite considerate! They stop working for a matter of hours, not days, and try to avoid peak hours. They don't all strike at once, either, so you'll probably have a longer wait but still be able to get where you are going. Furthermore, they give advance notice on the website and occasionally, even on posters around the city or at the train station.
What surprised me more are the public school teachers' strikes. They seem more common, happening several times last year, and the kids suddenly, without notice, have the day, or several days off. We would occasionally have a few extra kids at our school when IST teachers had taken their kids to public school to find out the teachers weren't there and had to bring them along to work.
Watching a lot of F/S, fuori servizio, or out of service, busses go by can be annoying sometimes, but it rarely causes the serious problems that would be expected with a transportation workers strike.