Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Caribbean Truck Strike Cuts Freight Transport By 90%

Dominican Republic at Standstill Over Fuel Hike
Shipping News Feature

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC – A 24 hour strike yesterday brought freight deliveries and collections to almost a dead stop as over 30,000 truck drivers parked up their vehicles to protest against the Governments fuel tax policy which would see tax levels on diesel reviewed every three months.

Drivers of companies who belong to the National Dominican Transportation Federation (Fenetrado) represent the vast bulk of road freight hauliers responsible for shipping all manner of goods across the island. Fenetrado have been careful not to alienate the man in the street who they see as ultimately the victims of President Leonel Fernandez’s taxation policy, stressing they are desperate to protect the poorest sector of Dominican society from price increases.

All drivers were instructed by the organisation to park vehicles responsibly and said that they were keen to ensure the interruption of vital supplies, including food deliveries, would not cause hardship. All operations at the country’s major ports were halted as the withdrawal of labour took effect and, with the case for more action being reviewed by the hauliers tomorrow, the cost, estimated at $16 million per day, may force the Government to look at their intentions afresh.