Rome - The legitimacy of the Central Committee of the “Albo”, Italy’s Register of road haulage firms, is under scrutiny. The Albo manages the Italian state’s disbursements for some 93,000 Italian companies in the sector, which each year contribute around €13 million in registration fees. In a joint letter to the Minister of Transport Graziano Delrio (and also to the National Anti-Corruption Authority and the Court of Auditors), transport association Trasportounito, through its Secretary General Maurizio Longo, denounced a series of irregularities, calling into question the existence of the Committee and, consequently, of its deliberations to the tune of hundreds of millions of euro.
The 2014 Stability Law (147/2013) lowered the size-threshold for road transport associations that are able to join the Committee (with representative offices in at least 20 provinces, and at least 20,000 tonnes in overall vehicle load capacity), and also introduced two requirements: have a representative at the National Council of Economy and Labour (Cnel), either directly or through a trade confederation; and have signed for at least 10 years the national collective freight transport bargaining agreement (CCNL). Currently, however, according to Trasportunito, out of the dozen representatives of the associations that form the latest committee (formed in early 2014, for a three-year period, but prolonged, in the opinion of the association “inexplicably”, by one year by Undersecretary Simona Vicari, before she resigned due to an enquiry for corruption), at least two have no business being there, which calls into question the whole validity of resolutions taken by the latest Committee. One such association is Sna Casa, which according to checks in the official gazette by Tranportounito, has claimed representation to the Cnel, but has none.
It must be said that, on this matter, Trasportounito has a heavy chip on its shoulder, as it’s the only association left out of the Register due to its late application to be included in the Cnel by a few days past the due date. Moreover, Longo recalled how, in view of the 2016 referendum, which never saw the light of day, and called for, among other things, the abolition of Cnel, many sector associations bailed out, without that fact affecting the work of the Committee.
The other association is Assotir, which, as evidenced by a recent ruling by the Administrative Court of Lazio (TAR), only signed the CCNL in 2014, on the heels of the submission period for requests to enter the Committee, being previously signatory to the Fast Collective Agreement (Autonomous Federation of trade unions). Despite the judgement by TAR, Longo noted, that association continues to be invited to ministerial institutional meetings. The very same Ministry that, however, through a letter signed by the chairman of the Committee (Teresa Di Matteo), denied Trasportounito’s request last year to inspect the books, in order to understand how fees paid by associates were being utilized. “I believe,” said Longo, “that the existence of a Committee no longer makes any sense: the guarantees of conformity in operations are now determined by registration of companies in the National Electronic Register. An office within the Transport Ministry, with no connection to the associations, would be able to handle the last remaining activities of the Albo: how to allocate the hundreds of millions of euros per year from toll-road reimbursements, or the approximately €10 million fund for training, and the issuing of professional certificates.”