A group of Chilean truck drivers began today, Monday, an indefinite strike of activities with the partial blockade of essential routes in the country, especially in the northern zone, demanding a reduction in fuel prices and greater security on the roads.
The Confederación Gremial de Transportistas Fuerza del Norte, made up of independent carriers from northern towns, called on Nov. 17 for a stoppage of drivers for this week.
In a letter delivered to the government, the trade association warned of the suspension of all truckloads and to allow only “emergency vehicles, private vehicles and passenger transport” to pass.
“Our objective is not to harm the citizens, but we are tired of this injustice,” the organization said.
The truckers argued an “uncontrolled” weekly increase in the price of diesel, in addition to an “uncontrolled” risk of suffering assaults, robberies, and looting of the transported loads, which endangers “the life and integrity of the drivers”.
“Truck theft, both in cities and on the road, makes the activity unsustainable and leaves medium and small operators in immediate bankruptcy,” they detailed.
The drivers, therefore, requested cargo insurance, the cost of which should be borne by the owner and not by the drivers, as well as access to “fair and real” fuel rates, in addition to “efficient and effective” measures by the authorities.
For its part, the National Confederation of Truck Owners, another union of the sector, described the strike as “irresponsible” and rejected the “actions of force” due to “the serious economic difficulties the country is going through”.
He stated that the “correct way” is to dialogue and work with the responsible authorities to solve the difficulties, among them insecurity, assaults, robberies, attacks, and increased fuel and supplies prices.