Global Fuel Crisis Rages On
With fuel prices even higher than in the United States, truckers in Europe took the plunge Tuesday to strike for lower prices.Following in the footsteps of US trucker strikes and shutdowns that occurred earlier this spring, truckers in Spain parked their vehicles, blocking highways, in order to let their voices be heard.
According to the Canadian Press, the angry truckers made their point by interrupting the flow of transportation and commerce, proving just how important they are to the transportation industry.Among other products, truckers stopped the flow of food and fuel with their highway block. Truckers began striking Monday, and already their efforts have seen serious effects.Three car production plants had to temporarily shut down because they did not receive their parts shipments, some gas stations ran out of fuel, and analysts are predicting shortages of fresh fruits and vegetables.
The sheer variety of the number of industries affected by the shutdown exemplifies the degree to which truckers are necessary in the transportation industry.
The truckers, who are striking alongside a fishermen's strike, which has been occurring since the end of May, are protesting the rise of fuel prices—thirty-six percent in a year.
But truckers did not only affect industry.Trucks moved slowly on highways, disrupting the flow of traffic, and blocked intersections for all other truckers, though they let cars through. Spanish citizens have been concerned about being able to buy food and gasoline, and some stores are becoming flooded with consumers.
According to the Canadian Press, the strikers are primarily owner-operators and are asking for "minimum, guaranteed haulage rates to offset rising fuel prices and enable them to compete with large trucking companies."Truckers are also protesting the fact that they have been given no fuel discount, unlike fishermen, who currently receive a discount on their fuel.
Spanish truckers have continued to discuss their demands with government officials, according to the Canadian Press.In Hong Kong, truckers are also slowing down and pulling over in protest to the high prices.
But in Italy, truckers have made their voices heard.According to Thompson Financial News, Italy Infrastructure Minister Altero Matteoli has pledged 107 million Euros to come to the aid of truckers by reducing tolls in order to offset the effects of soaring fuel.
Although truckers' shutdowns in the United States did not create as much friction as the European shut downs, European truckers are raising their voices for the rest of the world, and Hong Kong has joined in.With Italy pledging money to offset the cost of fuel and the government entering into talks with the trucking industry, truckers around the world may have hope yet!