By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 19 March 2022 • 14:29
Supply problems as truck driver strike continues
The agri-food sector have petitioned the Government to do more to bring the truck driver strike in Spain to an end, as the supply of fresh produce starts to affect supermarkets.
The affected industries have come out strongly against those who have attacked trucks and who have set up blockades at logistics centres, resulting in many companies having to stop production due to distribution difficulties.
The government have downplayed the strike saying calling it a boycott that is only supported by self-employed drivers and is not widespread. The self-employed are directly affected by the rise in fuel costs making it uneconomic for many of them to continue working.
It is estimated that the losses to the agri-food sector already exceed 600 million euros, putting more than 100,000 jobs at risk.
Aecoc, Fiab, Aces, Anged and Asedas all denounced the boycott yesterday saying: “The organisers of the strike that, have tried to paralyse the country and is having a devastating effect on the entire food supply chain.”
They warn that “supply problems will begin for many products in the coming days and hours.”
Many businessmen have reported damage to vehicles often resulting in deliveries not reaching their destination due to flat tyres. They say: “There are thousands of trucks that want to leave and they don’t do it out of fear. It is not a problem of supply, but of security in transport.”
Reports suggest that not all areas are affected in the same way with Galicia, Andalusia and Extremadura more affected. These are areas that have a high production of perishable goods. In Galicia, the ports of Burela, Celeiro and A Coruña are in “a critical situation” with fishing stocks not being delivered or collected.
In Almeria, fruit and vegetable companies are losing around 10 million a day and in Huelva they estimate that each raspberry truck contains around 100,000 euros in product and strawberry trucks around 50,000 euros. Exporters also complain that they cannot ship their goods with the olive oil sector saying that up 70 percent of its exports are affected.
Milk and beer deliveries are also affected with bars and restaurants warning that the strike is pushing up costs, and the longer it drags on the worse the situation will get.
The Alliance for the Competitiveness of the Spanish Industry, which integrates strategic industrial sectors (automotive, steel, refining…) urged the Executive to take measures now to solve the conflict, such as lowering the price of fuel, without waiting for the approval of the National Plan for Response to the Impact of the War, scheduled for next March 29.
Jenkar a freight forwarder has also warned of similar action possibly being taken in France and other countries.
Whist the truck driver strike is affecting supply in some area such as fresh produce, the overall impact on the economy will be to drive up prices further affecting the average man in the street including those on strike.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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