Brazil truckers association Abcam recommends end of strike

Young journalists club

News ID: 23519
Publish Date: 21:05 - 28 May 2018
TEHRAN, May 28 - A Brazilian truckers association behind a week-long nationwide fuel-price protest that paralyzed key sectors of Latin America's biggest economy told drivers to get back to work on Monday after the government caved in to their demands.

Brazil truckers association Abcam recommends end of strikeTEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -The Abcam association, which says it represents at least 600,000 independent truck drivers, said in a written statement it expected the number of truckers blockading key roadways to fall significantly by Monday afternoon, but also warned that unwinding the protest would take time.

"We are working to spread the word of a deal to all the drivers," Abcam said in its statement. "It is worth remembering that even though we are calling for an end to the blockades, not all protesters agree with that."

It was not clear by mid-day when Brazil would return to some semblance of normality.

The truckers' protest left South America's biggest city and economic hub Sao Paulo, and hundreds of communities across the country, without fuel, emptying normally gridlocked roads.

Hospitals said they were running out of supplies.

Schools canceled classes, businesses told employees to work from home and virtually every part of the powerhouse agribusiness sector said the damage was massive, if not yet quantifiable.

In a Sunday night televised address, President Michel Temer said he signed three decrees with immediate effect to address the main demands of truck drivers, adding that "we gave everything they asked for."

One of the decrees cuts the price of diesel at the pump by 12 percent for 60 days, another ordered toll operators across the country not to charge for rear axles that are not in use, and another mandates the minimum fare for freight to be paid to truckers.

In a sign of the uncertainty of how or when the protest may wind down, one of the leaders of independent truckers in Rio de Janeiro, Vicente Reis, said that drivers were not happy with what Temer offered.

"We are not satisfied with what was offered, nor even with who was negotiating," Reis said. "Our goal is no longer just a cut in diesel prices. We won the support of society and now we want a reduction in the costs of other fuels."

Brazilian Finance Minister Eduardo Guardia said on Monday that the measures Temer announced will cost 9.5 billion reais ($2.6 billion), of which 3.8 billion will come from cutting government expenses.

(Source: Reuters)

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