Home Business In the “war room” of petrol stations on the eve of the strike: “A shameful smear campaign against us”

In the “war room” of petrol stations on the eve of the strike: “A shameful smear campaign against us”

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In the “war room” of petrol stations on the eve of the strike: “A shameful smear campaign against us”

MILAN. «Yesterday a customer went to the cash desk and slammed twenty euros in the face of one of my employees saying that, in view of the strike, we had further increased the price of petrol. A beautiful and good falsehood. Tell me, what else must happen to an honest worker?’ Giovanni D’Aloia, manager of some oil plants on the outskirts of Milan, vents to his colleagues. They belong to the Figisc-Anisa, one of the most representative acronyms among those that protect the interests of fuel sellers, and despite it being Monday evening they are all gathered in a room of the Milanese headquarters of Confcommercio in Corso Venezia. It is the eve of the 48-hour strike proclaimed against the new decree wanted by the Meloni government. They are all tested by an intense day’s work – in view of the lockout yesterday many motorists stormed the sales points – but they have not given up the opportunity to discuss and seek together the right words to explain the reasons for their protest.

«A category of people who have always given so much to citizens and institutions has been targeted, even during the darkest months of Covid when we asked our wives and children to give us part of their time to stay open – denounces Paolo Uniti, national secretary of Figisc -. Some government officials accuse us of speculating and creating social alarm. Because? They know very well that the increases are due to their choice to restore excise duties. Even the ministerial head of the price observatory admitted it during the meetings we had in Rome».

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Strike of petrol stations, here’s where to fill up on the highway despite the lockout

PAUL BARONI


There are three issues that have pushed the gas station attendants to war footing: in addition to the «shameful smear campaign against our sector», they want to remind us that «price policies at the pump are not attributable to managers, whose average profit margin is of 3 cents and remains unchanged regardless of the final price to the consumer” and they want to oppose “the new legal obligations for operators, already subjected to numerous controls and checks by the competent bodies”. In particular, the obligation to display the regional average price, in addition to the three already mandatory ones (self-service price, served price and difference between the two), raises the level of tension. They denounce that in addition to the twenty thousand gas station attendants who every week (or several times in the event of more frequent variations, such as in times of crisis) correctly communicate their prices to the ministerial observatory «paying hefty fines if by chance once they forget or day after» there would be at least a thousand others who not only have never communicated their prices but who would actually contribute in a decisive way to creating the monstrous tax evasion of several billion euros that afflicts the sector. «The regional average is made by putting everyone in a single cauldron – complains Vicenzo Pezzzuto, another associate -. In addition to us, who work with an exclusive purchase contract from an oil company and having the plants on loan for use, supermarkets, the so-called white pumps and stations directly managed by the oil companies contribute to the average. The regional average price, in addition to the risk of producing a leveling of prices and a “de facto” cartel, will increasingly push the sector towards a reduction in margins and towards non-contractualised and non-unionised management». Ivano Cason, Milanese vice-president and member of the national council, goes so far as to define himself as the victim of a conspiracy. “They use us as a political lightning rod. A shame. Instead of picking on the “mastruzzi” (the tricksters, ed.) they are attacking people and families who wake up at dawn every morning to guarantee a service to the whole community».

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