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Montevideo, November 19th 2018 - 19:50 UTC

Truckers union calls an end to the crippling strike, but some still resist

Wednesday, May 30th 2018 - 08:58 UTC
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The call by the National Confederation of Autonomous Transporters was a sign that the 9-day strike was starting to wind down despite sporadic blockages The call by the National Confederation of Autonomous Transporters was a sign that the 9-day strike was starting to wind down despite sporadic blockages
It was also a clear that strike leaders knew disruptions were wearing on Brazilians, who have had to endure empty shelves, canceled flights and shuttered schools It was also a clear that strike leaders knew disruptions were wearing on Brazilians, who have had to endure empty shelves, canceled flights and shuttered schools

One of the main unions behind a crippling truckers' strike in Latin America's largest nation on Tuesday called on its members to return to work, warning that failing to do so would erode hard-won gains.

The call by the National Confederation of Autonomous Transporters was a sign that the 9-day strike was starting to wind down despite sporadic blockages nationwide and widespread food and gasoline shortages.

It was also a clear that strike leaders knew the disruptions were wearing on Brazilians, who have had to endure empty shelves, canceled flights and shuttered schools as much of the country has come to a halt.

“Everything that has been achieved up until now, with a good image in the public view, runs the risk of being lost” if the shutdown continues, read the statement.

The statement also said some truckers were being “forced and threatened” to continue striking by groups that had other objectives.

Government officials who have been negotiating with transportation unions the last week have also repeatedly complained that groups were trying to hijack the movement to destabilize the country.

On Tuesday, Minister Carlos Marun said seven people were arrested in the northeastern state of Maranhao for trying to keep truckers from returning to work.

While many truckers have stood down, other vowed to continue striking on Tuesday, meaning it could be weeks before Brazil gets back to normal.

The strike began May 21 over rising diesel prices that are the result of increasing world oil prices and a weakening of the Brazilian real against the U.S. dollar.

Truckers parked their rigs on hundreds of highways and roads, clogging traffic and refusing to deliver goods that ranged from gasoline to food.

The military, making clear it had no interest in using force, also stepped in to escort transports of gasoline to airports and supplies to hospitals.

Economists say it will take weeks for supply lines to get back to normal, as trucks are the main source of transport for the commodity-rich nation that is slightly larger than the continental United States.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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