Strike Ends with Agreement to Increase Haulage Rates
Puerto Rico acting Gov. Omar Marrero signed an agreement last night (Thursday night) that ended the trucker strike that lasted two days, disrupting the supply chain at gas stations and other businesses, and in which the commonwealth ended up supporting a regulation approved by the Transportation and Other Public Services Bureau (NTSP by its Spanish acronym) last December that increases haulage rates.
The agreement, provided by the carriers, was signed after a tense meeting last night at La Fortaleza, the governor’s mansion and executive office. Marrero had apparently expressed doubts about the contract and had given the impression that he would not sign the document before he finally gave his endorsement. This account of the events was provided by Rolando Emanuelli, the legal representative of the United Front of Truckers, an organization that spearheaded the strike in which thousands of drivers protested by not picking up cargo at the San Juan Ports.
“The regulation approved by the Transportation and Other Public Services Bureau will be implemented. This agreement has provisions that establish public policy. The (local) government commits to supporting the rates and allows the United Front to intervene in this process,” said Emanuelli.
Puerto Rico’s Financial Oversight and Management Board (FOMB), an office created through federal law that is technically part of the local government, is opposed to the regulation, although the entity issued a press release highlighting the need for negotiations after the strike left more than 200 gas stations without fuel.
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi, who has been on in vacation without informing his whereabouts, broke his silence by sending two tweets that announced the end of the strike.
“The government of Puerto Rico, together with the Transportation and Other Public Services Bureau, reached an agreement to re-establish the distribution chain and bring peace to our island,” the governor said.