Truckers strike Worldwide

From: Learning English – Words in the News
13 June, 2008.
Rising oil price have affected drivers across the world

Thousands of lorry drivers around the world are on strike in protest at rising fuel prices. Protests are taking place in Spain, Malaysia, South Korea and the UK. In Argentina food retailers have warned of shortages due to disruption caused by truckers. This report from Jane Warr:

In Spain, about 75,000 lorry drivers have been on strike since Sunday night and more than 70 have been arrested. The Spanish government has promised zero tolerance for any violence by the drivers, following a series of incidents which included an attack on a trucker who broke the strike. That attack left him with 25% burns to his body.

In Malaysia, security has been stepped up in the capital Kuala Lumpur for a rally the opposition hopes will bring more than 20,000 people onto the streets. Oil prices have risen by about 40% since the start of the year to an all-time high of more than a $139.

Truck drivers are also on strike in South Korea, affecting operations at major ports. They’re demanding cuts in energy costs or an increase in transport fees as a result of a more than 30% increase in the price of diesel since the beginning of the year.

In Britain, fuel supplies to around 900 Shell petrol stations across the country stopped early on Friday because of a strike by tanker drivers employed by two haulage companies. The drivers have also set up picket lines outside a number of oil terminals.

And in Argentina, truck drivers are protesting against a protest. They say demonstrations by farmers are preventing them from working. The farmers have been blocking roads for the past three months in a dispute with the government over export taxes.

Jane Warr, BBC

Check the meaning of the words in bold

zero tolerance for any violence
when any use of physical force to injure somebody or damage something, even if not very serious, is treated as unacceptable and punished severely

broke the strike
continued to work despite the fact that most drivers have refused to work as a protest (here, against rising fuel prices)

security has been stepped up
more precautions have been taken (to keep somebody or something safe from attack or danger)

an all-time high
the highest they have ever been

affecting operations
here, stopping the ports from working normally

tanker
here, a vehicle built to carry liquid or gas

haulage
the business of moving goods by road or railway

set up picket lines
when people, such as striking workers, show their protest by standing in lines outside buildings to try to prevent other workers from going inside

a dispute
here, a prolonged disagreement between the government and workers involving a strike

export taxes
taxes that must be paid when selling goods abroad

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One response to “Truckers strike Worldwide

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