Colombia’s government reached an
agreement with truck drivers to end their strike that
threatened to slow coffee shipments from the world’s No. 3
exporter, authorities said on Saturday.
The Colombian Truck Drivers’ Association, which represents
about 150,000 members, went on strike 10 days ago to demand the
government of President Alvaro Uribe lower fuel prices and
enforce freight prices among other demands.
The Transport Ministry and the truck owners agreed to a
seven-point deal to end the strike, including help negotiating
debt payments and tougher controls on irregularities affecting
truckers, the presidential office said in a statement.
Coffee exporters in Colombia, the top producer of
high-quality arabica beans, had warned the strike could affect
supplies, which had already been reduced by bad weather and a
program to replace old coffee plants with new ones.
Last year, the trucking association went on strike for two
weeks in a protest that slowed coffee shipments to a main
Pacific port. The government recently reduced fuel costs to
better reflect the fall in global oil prices. (Reuters)