Genoa - The road hauliers and the Port System Authority have found a compromise after days of high tension. The agreement, signed at Palazzo San Giorgio, provides for the cancellation of the strike that the truck drivers had declared from 8 to 10 March: such a protest would have completely paralysed the entrances to the port, shutting it down for three days in a row. The strike had been announced by unions and trade associations as a result of the long queues and waiting times that the LGVs often have to face before they can access the terminals to load and unload goods. Lorry drivers’ complaints include the lack of parking areas equipped for road transport, in particular at the VTE terminal in Pra’.
The details of the agreement signed by the Port Authority call for the creation of a service centre - with lodging and refreshment areas - for road hauliers at the VTE terminal. According to Il Secolo XIX-The MediTelegraph, the investment would come to about half a million euros, and by 2019, would provide for the creation of a service centre for all drivers who have to spend hours waiting before they can enter the port gates, and those who are forced to spend the night in the port before they can depart to reach their final destination.
Until the service centre has been built - entirely at the expense of the PSA group which manages the docks - by June temporary housing modules will be placed in Pra’ for the use of the drivers. Some modules will also be placed in the Sampierdarena basin, in the San Benigno area. However, the leadership at the Port System Authority has undertaken to meet with the representatives of the road haulage industry again by 15 April to find a solution to the problem of queues and waiting at the entrances to the port.
”The decision to cancel the three-day strike,” explained Giovanni Ciaccio from Uiltrasporti, Mauro Scognamillo from Fit-Cisl and Marco Gallo from Filt-Cgil, “took shape after the Authority and the operators signed an agreement concerning important interventions that will support the entire sector. We hope that the creation of a service centre and the provision of housing modules for drivers operating within the port represent a first step towards an overall improvement in working conditions for drivers”. According to Giuseppe Tagnochetti, coordinator for Liguria di Trasportounito, an association which represents hundreds of small and medium-sized enterprises throughout Italy, the agreement which was reached “represents a starting point from which to begin to solve the problems of queues and long waiting times at the entrances to the port”. Road traffic
The offices of the Port System Authority have promised to prepare some proposals for changes to traffi c, both in the area of Sampierdarena and Pra’, which will be presented to the trade unions in the next few weeks with the aim of streamlining the movement of lorries that access the port terminals every day. The lorry drivers also asked that the terminals increase the number of staff that handle the inspections of goods and check accompanying documents.