State-run oil company Petrobras announced on Tuesday, March 26, that new prices for fuel will be calculated every 15 days in an effort to prevent a nationwide strike by independent truck drivers. Unions and truck drivers were planning on launching a strike on Saturday, March 30, to denounce rising fuel costs. Petrobras, and its subsidiary BR Distribuidora, also announced a new payment card that will allow truckers to purchase diesel at fixed prices. Following the announcement, some union leaders have withdrawn their support for the March 30 work stoppage. However, strikes and protests by independent drivers are possible throughout the country, particularly in major urban areas. Heightened security measures and traffic disruptions are expected around all protest sites.
Truck drivers carried out a disruptive nationwide strike in May 2018 to pressure the government and the national energy company Petrobras to take measures to reduce fuel prices. The protests caused major disruptions, with drivers erecting almost 600 roadblocks across 20 states.
Individuals in Brazil are advised to monitor developments to the situation, strictly avoid all protests and roadblocks, and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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