Colombia’s truckers’ union strike Friday after a hike in fuel prices.
Truckers’ union (ACC) said that as the government refused to back down from Friday’s six cent increase in the price of gas, they went on strike at 5PM Friday.
The price hike was called “a killer” by the union’s leader, Pedro Aguilar, who met with Colombia’s transportation minister and minister for mines and energy.
“Colombia only understands things the hard way,” said Aguilar, referring to the country-wide strike which brought Colombia’s trucks to a standstill.
The president of Colfecar (Colombia’s road freighters union) Jaime Sorzano said that constant increases in fuel prices have “become intolerable and unsustainable.”
The price per gallon of gasoline is now $4.82 in Bogota. The share of an average wage to the price of gas puts Colombia in the top 10 of Bloomberg’s “pain at the pump” rankings.
The proposed increase comes on the heels of recent seven cent increase. In 2012, however, fuel prices fell for the most part. Prices in December were lower than January. According to the government, this is due to a policy which stipulates a fixed 1.5 percent variation upwards or downwards in the final consumer price, which shields Colombians from extreme changes in international fuel costs.
“This hike has no purpose and is not in [step] with the quality of infrastructure…[the] quality of roads, the expensive tolls and the price of diesel and biodiesel,” said Sorzano.
The union leader said that approximately 34 percent of truckers’ costs is fuel, so with each increase the business becomes less profitable.
The truckers now join tens of thousands of coffee growers and coal miners, who are also staging protests.
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- En Diciembre el precio de la gasolina en Colombia bajo $101.17 (El Pais)
- Precio de la gasolina en Colombia sube 126.9 en Marzo (El Pais)
- Highest and cheapest gas prices by country (Bloomberg)
- Camioneros se podrian ir a paro por nueva alza en el precio de la gasolina (El Pais)
- Camioneros entran en paro desde la tarde de este viernes (El Colombiano)