Italian gas station managers threaten strike
January 20, 2007
NAPLES, Italy — If you need to gas up in Italy this weekend, better do it on Saturday.
Italian gas station managers have threatened to go on strike and could do it as early as Monday, according to Italian news reports.
Gas station managers in Italy are calling for a possible 48-hour strike to protest pumping restrictions placed by the government. They declared their intentions late Thursday, indicating that a decision on if and when to strike will be announced Monday.
Many gas stations in Italian towns and cities are closed Sundays; however, those along highways and major thoroughfares should be open.
Station managers and representatives want to protest restrictions the government placed on who can sell fuel and where. Primarily, they want the ability to build discount stations and pump fuel at large shopping centers and malls, common in the United States and England, according to a Friday report in the Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera.
Station representatives are slated to meet with officials from the Ministry of Economic Development. Based on that meeting, they will decide by Monday whether to close gas stations across the country for 48 hours, according to media reports.
For U.S. and NATO military personnel, civilians and families in Italy, there are no fuel stations available on military bases. U.S. and NATO forces fuel up on the economy at Agip or Esso stations using prepaid coupons bought from the military.
Military bases have government-subsidized fueling pumps, but they are reserved for official government use, said Chief Petty Officer Dawn Scott, a spokeswoman for Naval Support Activity Naples. Because the fuel is for official use only, drivers can’t use the pumps for personal use, she said. As such, military officials cautioned members and civilians to fill up this weekend.