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European Advisory: Truckers strike in response to sky-rocketing fuel costs

Truck drivers have begun strike action in response to increasing fuel prices

Update: While Italian truck drivers announced strike action, the Guarantee Commission rejected the strike because of "failure to comply with the notice period of 25 days", so the owners of small transport companies have announced a lockout. 

Truck drivers across Spain have begun an indefinite strike in objection to high fuel costs which many self-employed drivers and small haulage firms are struggling with especially. Italian drivers have also taken strike action and are also planning protests on 19th March. Similar action is being taken in Morocco where a 3 day strike is currently taking place whilst French truckers look to commence strikes from 21st March following various protests in the country.

European haulage unions are all looking to their governments to act swiftly and review fuel taxes in order to compensate against rising fuel costs, which have been accelerated due to NATO-imposed sanctions on Russia. This has led to costs that drivers and smaller businesses are unable to absorb and are forced to pass on to their customers as a result.

In Spain, diesel has seen a price increase of around 17.6% from December 2021, a surge caused by the fallout from the Ukraine conflict coupled with the country’s highest inflation growth in 14 years, at 7.5%. The Platform for the Defense of Road Transport of Merchandise are those leading the Spanish strikes, however other regional associations have joined the fight to help the industry.

Key ports are currently seeing disruption with a shortage of trucks and drivers available to move cargo, with around 90% of drivers represented by the Platform for the Defense of Road Transport of Merchandise partaking on day 1 and some regions seeing truck traffic reduced to zero. In addition, truck drivers also blocked key roads, industrial zones and ports in major cities including Barcelona, Valencia and Tarragona.

The strikes across Europe are expected to cause localized disruption however they may have further knock-on effects in the supply chain.

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