9th July 2018

Brazilian Truck Driver Strike Brought Country To A Standstill

Towards the end of May this year, truck drivers in Brazil announced that they would be striking. Their decision was in response to a law being changed that had previously ensured that oil sold domestically was cheaper than that sold internationally. The state owned oil company Petrobras was behind the change that saw fuel prices increase, resulting in the truckers ending up more out of pocket and facing further hardship.

 

Over the course of the strike, drivers blocked roads and held demonstrations to oppose the change and demanded lowering the cost of fuel. The effects were felt quickly all over the country:

 

  • After just two days, several airports reported that they only had enough fuel to operate for one day
  • With fuel and food deliveries stopped, prices rose dramatically; in Rio de Janeiro, a bag of potatoes was being sold for $136
  • After four days, airports began cancelling flights
  • Hospitals cancelled non-emergency surgeries and buses were running on severely reduced schedules due to fuel shortages
  • Supermarkets ran out of most fresh produce
  • Several states and cities declared States of Emergency
  • Production was suspended in 19 car factories

 

It goes to show just how much people, companies and industry rely on truck drivers, and how quickly everything can be disrupted by them going on strike. Truck drivers are often overlooked and under appreciated and sadly it is only when they stop driving that people pay attention and realise the importance of their work.

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