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Sunday, July 13, 2008

World Wide Truckers Strike - Gas pumps drying up in Chile truckers' strike

In this installment, we continue our review of the growing world wide truckers strike as it hit Chile a couple weeks ago.

Gasoline pumps were dripping dry in some towns while stocks piled up at Chilean ports on Thursday as truckers entered the third day of a national strike to demand an end to diesel taxes.

They launched the strike on Tuesday, lining highway shoulders along Chile's 2,700-mile (4300-km) border with rigs laden with cargo.

The strikes add energy-poor Chile to the list of countries experiencing protests against soaring global oil prices, and also come on top of a walkout at a major port.

The strike started a day after the government announced a new $1 billion fuel price stabilization fund. Truckers called it a band-aid that would do little to fix their woes.

"We're waiting for their call to talk," said Juan Araya, president of the National Confederation of Truckers. "This will go on until they do."

The truckers, camped out on highways, say the strike will not end until the government cuts highway diesel taxes and guarantees stable fuel prices for an extended period.

News reports showed gas stations in remote parts running out of fuel because transport rigs were either parked on highways or prevented from driving.

The strike was meant to be mainly symbolic and last for only 48 hours, but union leaders extended it after the government did not enter negotiations.

Gas pumps drying up in Chile truckers' strike

A trucker's strike in one country might indicate a delay in shipping of the latest Sony Vaio or load of vegetables, but as strikes ramp up around the world, just in time logistics models are impacted in an accordion effect.