A trucker strike in Columbia has caused a steep increase in food prices and food shortages. Around 40% of the country’s trucks are off the road to protest high fuel prices, tolls, and the quality of roads. The strike has already cost Columbia $300 million while the strike continues to gain strength. The drivers are demanding lower freight rates and better retirement benefits.
Truck Drivers Say the Government Drives Up Costs
Drivers are blaming the government for high fuel prices and toll fees. Some transportation workers even claim that 70% of their costs are the government’s fault.
The strike, which began on February 23, initially involved truck drivers pulling off on the side of the road. However, as the drivers became restless, some began “turtle trails” — meaning that they are driving at 10-15 mph on important transport routes, causing major delays.
Strike Continues to Grow, Crippling Columbian Economy
Violence has escalated during the strike. Striking drivers have broken thousands of dollars worth of windshields of trucks not participating in the strike.
As the cost of food rises, Columbian officials are looking for ways to end the strike. But it looks like the trucker strike is gaining momentum. The strikers are joining with other unions like taxi drivers and farmers to increase their leverage in negotiations with Colombian authorities. Taxi drivers have already promised to join the truck drivers, asking for better benefits and a country-wide ban on Uber.