RIO DE JANEIRO – The Brazilian truckers’ strike left this city all but paralyzed for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday despite President Michel Temer’s proposed truce and Petrobras’ offer to lower fuel prices.
Trucker leaders on Wednesday had said that Petrobras’ offer to lower diesel prices by 10 percent for a period of 15 days was not a solution and that the strike would go on indefinitely.
By 9:00 am, protests had spread to 20 Brazilian states.
According to the Rio de Janeiro Fuel Retailers Association (SINDOMB), at least half of the country’s gas stations are without gasoline, diesel or ethanol and in Brasilia and Sao Paulo, shortages have caused motorists to sit in long lines waiting to fill up.
In the Federal District, LP gas was also in short supply and, despite the fact that its price has remained stable, hospitals, jails and malls have been unable to stock up.
Airports have also been gravely affected by the strike, as only nine tanker trucks have arrived at the Brasilia airport – well short of the 20 required each day to provision the airplane fleet – while Congonhas airport authorities in Sao Paulo said that they only have enough fuel to last until Friday night.
The fuel shortage has also led to a reduction in public transportation in several cities.
With Petrobras’ decision to temporarily lower diesel prices, however, the government hopes to be able to come to an agreement with the truckers.