LatinNews Daily - 04 July 2022

In brief: Panama gov’t reaches agreement with truck drivers

*Panama’s government led by President Laurentino Cortizo has reached an agreement with striking truck drivers in the Chiriquí province which will bring an end to strikes by lorry drivers transporting agricultural produce that began on 26 June. The strikes were over rising fuel costs and led to fears that the food supply in the capital, Panama City, would run out. According to the agriculture development ministry (Mida), following a series of meetings led by Panama’s deputy Mida minister Carlo Rognoni, and representatives from the truck drivers, the government has agreed to set up a special relief fund which would provide drivers from the sector with a minimum of US$250 extra per month, and would increase depending on the size of cargo, with those driving articulated lorries transporting over 20 tonnes (t) to receive an additional US$1,526 per month. These figures have been calculated for the distance between Panama City and Chiriquí, but the government says it will make the same calculations and allowances for the other provinces. This follows the decision by the Cortizo government to freeze fuel prices at US$3.95 for certain sectors, including heavy goods drivers.

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