Belgium feels effects of Spain’s striking truckers
Spanish hauliers go into their fifth day of strikes, bringing car production in Belgium to a standstill as they run out of body parts.13 June 2008
BELGIUM – Truckers’ strikes in Spain and Portugal have paralysed car production in Belgium as manufactures run out of car body parts.
Independent lorry drivers in Spain and Portugal have been waging strike action and blockading roads to protest against soaring fuel prices since Sunday.
Diesel has risen to EUR 1.30 a litre from EUR 0.95 in 2007.
The Portuguese truckers have stopped their strike action and lifted road barricades while their Spain counterparts have rejected an agreement offered by the government.
Spain's car industry said on Wednesday it has been paralysed by the nationwide strike by truck drivers.
Now in Belgium, car manufacturers also have to interrupt their production because they have run out of some parts.
Audi in Brussels has run out of body work parts and production has come to a standstill until Monday.
At Volvo cars in Ghent (photo), 4,000 workers have been told to stay home until Monday too.
Ford Genk ordered extra transports earlier in the week and has enough parts to continue work through Thursday.
In recent days truckers across Spain have also blocked deliveries of fuel and food - sparking a rush by consumers to stockpile commodities - and have jammed up motorways causing travel chaos for millions.
The dispute has become increasingly violent and one protestor was killed on Tuesday; dozens of people were injured in separate incidents.
The supermarkets are also feeling the effect of the road blocks, though not dramatically.
Supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables from Spain have dwindled so some supermarkets are choosing for alternative supply sources and routes.
The impact from the strike is reportedly limited. If the strike continues, there will inevitably be considerable problems getting some products.
[flandersnews.be / Expatica]
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