Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Chile: new disagreement between truckers and the government

SANTIAGO ( Associated Press) — Truckers’ strike in Chile continued for a seventh day on Sunday after talks failed with the government, which said it was not responsible for “internal conflicts between private parties” and allegations of infighting in the sector. Can take

The strike, which partially blocked some points on the highway linking Chile from north to south, began on Monday demanding a 30% reduction in the price of diesel and more security on communication routes.

“Chile is not in a position to use its public resources exclusively to solve a private problem,” the undersecretary of the interior, Manuel Monsalve, announced on Sunday after several failed talks and meetings with the union over the weekend.

Monsalve said the cost of diesel is not always transferred to the rate paid by the carrier.

The official said, “In Chile it is not the government that sets the rates to be paid to carriers, it is the companies that generate the cargo, so if there are rate problems the ones that match are the carriers and the companies that generate the load.” Huh.” , He said that the ministers of economy and transport are trying to mediate on the issue.

The government of President Gabriel Borić is trying to promote the restoration of the railway network.

Monsalve also pointed out that the country already has a fuel price stabilization mechanism (MEPCO), which guarantees price stability for at least 4 months and costs the state $1.5 billion.

“We have taken the demands seriously in terms of security,” he said. To do this, he said, he has identified points where these types of problems occur, particularly on highways in the north of the country, and has committed resources to tackling the issue.

“Today it is difficult to find a foundation that prevents truckers from reaching an agreement,” he said, and said he wanted to re-convene them. He deplored that there has been dogmatism and differences among various truckers’ unions, some of which do not fully support the demands.

For his part, the leader of the northern carriers, Cristian Sandoval, warned that they would continue to mobilize and maintain a standstill until the government listened to them. Freddy Martinez, president of Truckers of the South, pointed out that in the face of a similar problem, the government cannot position itself as a third party isolated from everything else.

Meanwhile, the specter of shortages lurks after days of unemployment in a country whose narrow geography determines that 95% of national cargo is transported by land. The highways on which blockades have been reported, including the Pan-American Highway—officially known as Route 5_—run more than 3,300 kilometers from north to south and carry food, fuel, construction materials and machinery is transported. Some supermarkets in the north reported shortages of some products and some fuel gas stations, with the government saying it was working to resolve it.

The strike also threatens the fruit season which is now starting and is a significant part of the country’s economic activity.

The Federation of Fruit Producers of Chile (FedFruta) announced that the blockades put at risk the export of 25,000 tonnes of cherries – “the equivalent of the cargo of two Cherry Express ships headed to China” – to start the season fruit industry, which It began on Tuesday in the port of Valparaíso, the organization’s president, Jorge Valenzuela, said in a statement.

Valenzuela said it is not possible to transport containers to many cherry regions in the country’s central regions and that they are putting “immense” pressure on growers.

“The truckers’ requests are completely excessive,” Valenzuela declared, “and this reflects their very positions, some of which, such as demands for greater security, cannot be mixed with actions” which paralyzes the country, before which they demanded that the strike end soon.

Nation World News Desk
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