Peruvian fruit exports are being affected by a port and transport sector worker strike, which is in total costing the country millions of dollars every day.
The Peruvian Exporters’ Association (ADEX) said the indefinite strike called by unions of heavy cargo transport and port workers began earlier this week and is resulting in around US$43 million of lost trade every day.
The two unions that called the strike are the Transport and Logistics Guild (GTL) – which has more than 40,000 members in the heavy cargo transport sector – and AMERICA.
Affected products include table grapes, avocados, mangoes asparagus and blueberries, ADEX said. Regions impacted include Arequipa, Ancash, La Libertad, Piura and Tacna.
The workers are striking over the lack of solutions given by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to several issues they have raised over the last several months.
ADEX said the situation is particularly worrying in the port of Paita, as many perishable products are exported from there.
“Some, like grapes or mangoes, were moved before the start of the strike, but now the avocado season is about to begin and could be seriously affected if this situation continues,” said Juan Varilias Velásquez, president of ADEX.
He also called on all sides to come to the negotiating table and continue the dialogue.
Varilias noted that some of the six demands of GTL and AMERICA from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications could improve the transport situation in the country, thereby making it more competitive internationally. The demands include a reduction in fuel prices and road tolls, as well as improvements of logistical elements in ports such as Callao, Paita and Pisco.