RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL — Truck drivers in Brazil have gone on strike to protest tolls and freight costs. The strike by thousands of truckers began earlier this week.
The United Brazilian Truck Driver Movement believes their numbers could swell as high as one million as the strike takes hold. They claim to have that many members, and with all promising to participate.
Organizers are trying to pressure the Brazilian government, freight companies and toll operators to address complaints of high highway tolls and freight costs.
Truckers are also calling for a safety crackdown: Brazil’s highways are poorly built and maintained; and the threat of theft and/or violence is high.
“The government has made no attempt to negotiate with us so we have stopped work,” says trucker Francisco Ribeiro dos Santos.
While broadcasters showed trucks parked along the sides of some major arteries, they didn’t block traffic. Last week, the government warned it wouldn’t stand for any road blockades.