- Title: COLOMBIA: GOVERNMENT TALKS MAY MEAN END TO TRUCK DRIVERS STRIKE
- Date: 23rd October 1996
- Summary: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA (OCTOBER 23, 1996) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. TV TRUCKS LINED UP 0.07 2. SV TRUCKERS CHANTING AND BLOWING WHISTLES 0.21 3. TV TRUCKERS BLOCKING TRAFFIC ( 2 SHOTS) 0.36 4. SV TRUCK WITH COLOMBIAN FLAG 0.43 5. SV POLICE CAR 0.47 6. SV POLICE WITH BATONS STANDING BY ROAD 0.51 7. SCU OF POLICE GUN AND PAN UP TO POLICEMAN 0.56 8. SV POLICE CAR 1.01 9. SV TRUCKERS BARRING TRUCKS ON ROAD 1.08 10. SV POLICE WITH TRUCKERS 1.13 11. SCU JOSE RAMOS, TRUCKER, SAYING THAT THEY DON'T HAVE NYTHING TO RIDE ON, THEN OTHER UNIDENTIFIED TRUCKER NTERRUPTS SAYING THE HIGHWAYS ARE BAD AND THEY RAISE HEIR TOLL PRICES (SPANISH) 1.33 12. SCU VICTOR M. LONDONO, TRUCKER, SAYS THAT THEY ARE ANKRUPT (SPANISH) 1.41 13. SCU RAMOS SAYING THAT THEY ARE ASKING FOR THE ESIGNATION OF TRANSPORTATION MINISTER AND OF MR. ARULANDA, FROM THE TRUCKERS UNION, BECAUSE THEY DON'T NOW ABOUT TRANSPORTATION. HE GOES ON TO SAY THAT THEY EED A PERSON THAT KNOWS ABOUT TRANSPORTATION, EVEN IF T'S A WOMAN (SPANISH) 2.04 14. TV TRUCKS LINED UP 2.09 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Embargoed: 7th November 1996 12:00
- Location: BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
- Country: Colombia LATIN AMERICA
- Reuters ID: LVA49V9A2A42F3I2RU19GAOX098T
- Story Text: INTRO: There has been a breakthrough in moves to bring an end to Colombia's truck drivers' strike following late night talks with the government.
The progress is good news for road users whose motorways have been blocked by strikers for days.
____________________________________________________________________ Colombian truckers began climbing back behind the wheel early on Friday (October 25) after their leaders signed a deal with the government to end their crippling 11-day old strike.
Colombian Truck Drivers' Association (ACC) head Javier Suarez said the accord granted an immediate 16 percent raise in cargo freight rates with the promise of another inflation-linked increase at the start of next year -- short of the instant 30 percent hike originally demanded.
The breakthrough in talks between the independent association, the Transport and Interior Ministries and private transport companies came late on Thursday, a day after Interior Minister Horacio Serpa threatened to use police and the military to help smash the nationwide strike by clearing road blocks and forcing truckers back to work.
Key sectors of the economy, primarily those linked to import and export, had issued stiff criticism of the transport paralysis earlier in the day but heaved a collective sigh of relief with news of the agreement.
But the lifting of the strike seems unlikely to offer an instant fix for the crisis-hit coffee sector, which has seen sacks of coffee -- a quarter of that promised for October delivery -- delayed by the truckers' action.
Earlier in the week, private coffee exporters said many would be forced to default on this month's delivery contracts even if the stoppage ended before the weekend because of the backlog of coffee in port and in warehouses.
In addition to the rise in freight cargo rates, a joint committee of truckers, industry representatives and Transport Ministry officials will be created to look at other concerns highlighted by the drivers' association, Transport Minister Carlos Hernan Lopez said.
These include the cost of highway tolls, the price of operating licenses and associated taxes and maximum load restrictions on cargoes.
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