Carriers are feeling the effects of fuel prices at record levels. This Sunday, gasoline was marked at 2.13 euros per Liter, and diesel was at 2.10 euros. The Government subsidy of 20c per liter has been reduced, particularly for the sector that mobilized in March. This has paralyzed food distribution in some areas of the country.
Manuel Hernandez, president of the Platform in Defense of Transport, and leader of the strikes three-months ago, stated a few days back that if the government did not address the situation, they would have to "reactivate" the strike that was suspended on April 2. Hernandez stated that if the Government does not fulfill its promises, Hernandez said that the Platform would return to indefinite unemployment. This includes the law prohibiting the hire of transport services at loss.
Although the Government approved the anti-crisis plan on Saturday, which included the deferral of Social Security contributions to transport and the extension of the bonus at 20 cents per gallon of fuel, Hernandez maintained that the solution does not come through subsidies but rather through fundamental legislative changes.
This threat is serious. The Platform also consulted all of its provincial delegations and asked them if they would resume the mobilizations. However, the official results are still not known. The reactivation would occur in July if they do so. However, it is still uncertain when the date will be determined as they gave the Executive until June 30 to respond to their demands.
Within the context of March's strike, the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda promised to approve a law prohibiting loss of work, based upon the principles of the Food Chain Law, which was in effect before July 30th. So there would still be one month.
They explain that each transport company that provides a service for a client at an agreed price is responsible for the loss. However, orders accepted by companies and self-employed are often not profitable due to the fierce competition.
The National Committee for Road Transport (CNTC), the highest-ranking sector representative, wrote last week to the ministry asking for assistance to the sector. This included a fuel subsidy of 40 cents per liter and direct aid for carriers. They aren't considering calling a strike, which the agrifood sector had already said would be impossible to afford.
In the same statement, business and agrarian organizations stated that the agri-food industry could not withstand another strike in the transport sector. It is clear that March's stoppages caused serious problems in the supply chain for basic products, which cannot be allowed to happen again. They expressed concern about the potential consequences of a new strike for consumers and companies. They also warn about the fruit harvest campaign. A large portion of the produce is intended for other countries, and a stoppage in road transport would result in a loss of reputation and export destinations.