Govt announces new transport policy in effort to end strikes

The government announces that a new integrated transport policy will be in place by February 28, in an attempt to encourage truckers to return to talks and resolve the ongoing strike.

Deputy Transport Minister Felipe Targa Rodriguez says that talks are ongoing between representatives of cargo transporters and the Transport Ministry, El Pais reports Friday.

About two-thirds of the 180,000 truckers represented by the Association of Colombian Truckers (ACC) are currently on strike after the government scrapped a policy which set minimum freight rates that truckers receive for each delivery.

RCN Radio reports, however, that while the government is insisting upon a revision of freight costs, the dialogue does not presently involve those participating in the strike.

Although Transport Minister German Cardona has invited the truckers to return to talks, the director of the ACC Jose Ignacio Montealegre is not optimistic that there will be a speedy solution.

He explains that the strike itself is a clear demonstration of the lack of confidence in the government’s proposals, noting that “before the strike we had several days of meetings and we could not achieve a compromise.”

The discussions over the revised model costs are due to continue until a new policy is implemented on February 28, with meetings taking place Friday in Medellin and in Cali Monday.

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