Brazilian Truckers End Strike
August 1, 1999
Brazilian truckers Thursday agreed to end a four-day strike after the government promised to suspend a planned hike in tolls, improve federal highways and work on a separate points system for truckers.
Thousands of truckers went on strike starting a week ago, causing food and gas shortages across Brazil. After more than five hours of talks on Wednesday failed, President Fernando Henrique Cardozo authorized the use of armed forces to open blocked roads. There were minor clashes with riot police in Sao Paulo, but most truckers complied peacefully.
After two days of talks, striking truckers and the government reached agreement on several sore points. The government promised to improve security on Brazil's road and to better maintain federal highways. A planned increase in tolls was suspended, and the government said it would look into a separate points system for truck drivers. Drivers argued that they should face less stringent criteria than automobile drivers, since driving is their livelihood.