Strike Leaves More Than 150 Stations Without Gasoline
The truckers’ strike that started last Wednesday to support a haulage rate increase approved last December by a commonwealth agency has already left around 150 to 200 gas stations without gasoline, and it is threatening to cut supplies for small and medium-sized convenient stores, pharmacies and other businesses.
According to the United Retailers Association (CUD by its Spanish acronym), an organization that represents around 5,000 local business owners, the strike or general assembly, as trucking organizations have coined it, has already disrupted the island’s gasoline supply. The situation is compounded by a rush of consumers to the stations trying to fill up the tanks of their vehicles.
“We are seeing stations without gasoline, particularly in the east and metro area of Puerto Rico. Now we are seeing a storm forming since many companies that transport gasoline are being left without fuel. This is a problem,” CUD President Jesús Vázquez said, while noting the organization represents around 500 gas station owners in Puerto Rico.
The Transportation and Other Public Services Bureau (NTSP by its Spanish acronym), a commonwealth agency, approved the haulage rates last December, but Puerto Rico’s Financial Oversight and Management Board (FOMB), the agency that oversees the government’s finances, is opposed to the increase.