The first thing to know is that it is not a strike. Not that it changes much in substance, but it changes in form. Because if the managers of the fuel stations have decided to suspend the business, it is not to demonstrate against something, but because with the takings reduced to a minimum by the almost zero movement, they cannot pay wages. This, in particular, in motorway systems which, in order to remain open around the clock, need at least six people.
Here are some key points to keep in mind if, as it seems, the closure will start at midnight today.
- Highway systems: they will be completely closed and there will be no possibility to refuel in self mode because the payment agent will not be present either.
- City systems: they will be closed, but the self-services will remain active, at least as long as there is fuel in the tanks.
- Freight transport: heavy goods vehicles are supplied in special depots which will remain open: therefore, no problem, for the supply of goods, at least in the short term.
- Heating fuels: not involved in the action.
The organizations that bring together the operators of the refueling systems Faib Confesercenti, Fegica Cisl, Figisc / Anisa Confcommercio have said it clearly: it is not a strike but a closure for the inability to move forward.
In the evening the government intervention. The Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte ensured “the supply of fuels” while the ministers of Infrastructure and Transport, Paola De Micheli, and of Development Economico, Stefano Patuanelli , said they were working to promote “agreements between dealers and petrol stations”. Perhaps a step towards the solution of the affair that concerns automotive fuels and not diesel from heating.
A situation that has as its prologue the collapse of fuel consumption due to the country's lockdown. “There has been a very sharp drop in loans in the order of 85%”, explains the president of Anisa Confcommercio, Massimo Terzi, to AGI “and so far no help has arrived. Come on 10 – 11. 000 liters sold per day on the highway network we have increased to 1. 000 liters. We have to pay at least six people who work shifts since a highway system is open 24 hours a day . We can't do it right now, we don't sell enough to pay those employees. “
Each manager, continues Terzi, “when he closes the day loses 1. 000 -1. 500 euro per day . It is neither a strike nor a lockout but an acknowledgment of the impossibility to move forward. ” On the defendants' bench, in particular, “the motorway concessionaires who have to put something on the plate in order not to make us lose”.
The solution is not even the self-service , because, Terzi explains, “on the highway there is no “it is always a safeguard, if the customer puts the petrol on his own then he still pays the manager, a natural person”. “Self can be a useful tool on the ordinary network, not on motorways”, observes Alessandro Zavalloni secretary general of Fegica Cisl according to which a solution “could be the shift, keeping one plant out of 3 or one out of 4.”
From tomorrow night, therefore, the motorway systems may remain closed, including those on junctions and ring roads. Gradually the same fate could then affect all the others along the ordinary road system.
“In a country that, despite the structural limits and the absolute drama of the situation, seeks and often finds the way to trigger solidarity mechanisms, there is a category of people, besides 100. 000 throughout Italy, which, without any mention, has so far ensured, without any support the public essential service of distribution of energy and fuels for the transport of goods and people, neither of an economic nature nor with adequate sanitary equipment.
One hundred thousand people who continued to do their job (reduced on average by 85%) at the risk of their own safety and endangering their health , physically guarding the territory, remaining where they have always been and where every citizen of this country is used to finding them every day, that is, in the middle of the road “, write in the note Faib Confesercenti, Fegica Cisl, Figisc / Anisa Confcommercio.
The government replied on the matter. Prime Minister Conte said that the executive is ready to “guarantee the supply of all essential services therefore”, he underlined, “I can guarantee that the food supply chain but also the supply of fuel will be guaranteed”, adding that “ Minister De Micheli will adopt an ordinance that will allow to regulate the opening hours in order to ensure refueling throughout the peninsula and this is a way to meet some demands “.
“ Unity of intent” was asked by the Oil Union to “all components of the sector, and to the Government itself , to guarantee the Community the necessary distribution of fuels “in light of a” very deep crisis “. An exhortation to cancel the closure also came from the guarantor for strikes .
In a note the authority reiterates the “firm invitation to all trade union organizations, until 30 March 2020, given the epidemiological state of emergency declared on the national territory, due to the spread of the Covid virus – 2019, not to carry out strikes involving essential public services, since they would only aggravate the condition of citizens “.