AMERICA/COLOMBIA – In sight possible agreement to end 45 day truck driver strike
Duitama (Agenzia Fides) – An appeal to the government and to transporters to come to an agreement and end a month and a half long strike which has caused serious difficulties for the whole country, has been launched by Bishop Misael Vacca Ramirez, of the diocese of Duitama-Sogamoso. The Bishop urges the parties to "put aside radicalism and come to a solution which is just and which is urgent ", because the situation has led to a scarcity of prime necessities triggering public disorder in certain regions of Colombia. Bishop Vacca, in a report sent to Fides, denounces “radicalism which prevents dialogue, necessary for the good of Colombia", and he deplores episodes of violence which happened in the department of Boyaca a few days ago.
The Bishop’s appeal comes at the same time as reports of a possible final agreement between the parties involved. The strike was launched by the Truck Drivers General Union to demand better working conditions on the trucks, lower fuel prices and less taxes on the truck owners . The 45 day strike has caused serious losses for private companies as well as government distributors, some areas are without fuel, a prime necessity for factories, and building activity has also stopped for lack of material. All this in addition to clashes between police and demonstrators who arrived in Bogotà to stage a protest without the necessary permission. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 22/07/2016)