Colombia's truck drivers lift strikes
Colombia’s truck drivers will lift their road blockades after reaching a breakthrough deal with the government, newspaper El Espectador reported.
Spokespersons for the government and the union announced the repeal of two decrees from Jan. 17 and Feb. 11, effectively removing the freight charges that truck drivers were protesting against, the story reported.
El Espectador reported that both sides have agreed to participate in round table talks to work on new regulation proposals for the sector until Jun. 15.
The story said the new system will be based on operating costs and government intervention in the event of market failures, with no ‘forbidden topics’, while removing unpopular subpoenas from the law.
The Colombian Produce Association (Asohofrucol) said the transport strikes and a recent cold spell reduced fruit and horticulture production by 30%, according to Caracol.com.co.
“In Colombia there are 231,000 hectares of fruit and vegetable (crops) that produce 4.5 million (metric) tons worth – undoubtedly the cold wave and now the truck driver strike have contributed to lower production between 30% and 40%,” said Asohofrucol manager José Maya to Caracol Radio.
Colombia’s agricultural export sector has also been recently affected by a U.S. decision not to renew the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA), with new tariffs set to be imposed.