Peru government, transport unions make deal to end strike

Peru government, transport unions make deal to end strike

A blockade on the road linking the Peruvian cities of Puno and Arequipa on March 17, 2021
A blockade on the road linking the Peruvian cities of Puno and Arequipa on March 17, 2021 AFP/Diego Ramos

LIMA: The Peruvian government and transport unions, striking since Monday over fuel price increases, have reached an agreement to end the protests, authorities announced Saturday (Mar 20).

"After a long day of dialogue, leaders of the transport unions reached an agreement with the government and signed an act benefitting the sector and are committed to lifting their strike," the Ministry of Transport said on Twitter.

As part of the agreement, state-owned Petroperu will reduce the price of diesel and fuel will be subsidized by a special fund protecting against price volatility.

The unions agreed to clear roadblocks, including barricades made of rocks, burning tires and tree trunks, which had snarled traffic on main roads in several regions.

Police on Friday broke up several protests and roadblocks, resulting in 71 arrests.

The strike had forced police to deliver medical oxygen tanks meant for coronavirus patients by helicopter. Local media also said the roadblocks caused delays for some people going to vaccination appointments at hospitals.

According to the unions, a gallon (3.8 liters) of diesel had jumped in price to US$4.00 in December from US$2.90.

The protests came just weeks before Apr 11 presidential and parliamentary elections.

In neighboring Ecuador, an end to fuel subsidies in 2019 triggered the country's worst unrest in decades, with 10 dead and more than 1,300 injured in anti-government protests led by poor and indigenous communities.

Source: AFP

Bookmark