Russian truckers’ strike far larger than it appears, Novaya Gazeta says

A few of the long-haul truckers on strike in Russia (Image: Anna Artemyeva / novayagazeta.ru)

A few of the long-haul truckers on strike in Russia (Image: Anna Artemyeva / novayagazeta.ru) 

2017/04/10 - 08:34 • Analysis & Opinion, Politics, Russia

The long-haul truckers’ strike is far larger and thus having a much bigger impact on the economy than many suspect not only because the state-controlled media have not been willing to cover it but also because of the specific nature of the truckers’ action and the situations they face with regard to the authorities, according to Novaya gazeta.

The strike, the paper says, has truly become an all-Russian action with strikers appearing from Vladivostok to Smolensk and from Daghestan to Yamal. But because the strikers don’t have an all-Russian coordinating center (lest it be closed by the authorities), the national number of truckers involved is unclear.

At the local and regional strikes, however, organizers have good figures; and so journalists from the independent Moscow newspaper visited some of these in Kurgan, Yekaterinburg, Volgograd, St. Petersburg, Murmansk, Irkutsk, and Daghestan in order to draw some broader conclusions.

The paper offers three:

  • First, the size of the action is typically seriously underestimated because many truckers who are participating are doing so simply by parking their trucks and not doing anything more than that. That makes them “invisible” if one is looking only at those who come together on the roads.
  • Second, “with the exception of Daghestan where there have been clashes among the long-haul truckers, protests are occurring is a clearly peaceful fashion.” Dispersing the truckers and other force measures are in every case at “the initiative of regional siloviki.”
  • And third – and this is the most important of all – this strike is going to last a long time “because the long-haul truckers do not have any motivation to end their work action” until the authorities back down on the Plato system and other tariffs to which the truckers object.

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Edited by: A. N.

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  • Dagwood Bumstead

    Sooner or later, though, the truckers will run out of money and that will force them to return to work whether the hated tariffs have been abolished or not. Unless, of course, there is an organisation that is collecting funds to support the strike. Given the country’s economic situation, will the people be willing and able to support the truckers?

    • Alex George

      If they work, they lose money, so why bother?

      Mainly what they need is food and supporters will give that to them.

  • zorbatheturk

    Anything that hastens the economic collapse of the RF is good.

  • Dirk Smith

    This hopefully becomes the slow-burning fuse that blows up this mafia syndicate.