The Peruvian government and a conglomeration of trucking and inter-provincial transportation-service representatives reached an agreement yesterday to end a three-day strike. The transport stoppage had temporarily crippled Lima’s economy and posed a threat to the capital’s food supplies.
The strike originally called for the elimination of Peru’s selective consumption tax on fuel, which the transportation sector claims is excessively burdensome. It began last Tuesday, but was only adhered to by a select group of companies. By Wednesday of this week, however, it achieved near total support as attacks by picketers forced nearly all companies to comply with the strike. Prior to the agreement the government threatened to revoke the license of any company whose employees were caught in any act of violence. A state of emergency was declared in the departments of Lima and Junín.
Yesterday’s agreement came when the government proposed a 30 percent reduction of the gasoline tax, which amounts to approximately $.06 (S/0.2) for a gallon of diesel. The final reduction that was agreed upon is 50 percent larger than the government’s original offer and will translate into an estimated $80 million in lost revenues for the Peruvian government.