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Workers block entry of tank trucks into distribution plant in Montevideo on September 17-18

Between September 17-18 a limited number of workers from the Sindicato de Transporte y Carga (Suctra) reportedly prevented tank trucks from entering the Tablada plant, one of Uruguay’s largest oil facilities. Suctra demanded an overall improvement of working conditions. The purported blockade ended following government intervention, after authorities threatened Suctra with judicial actions. While union leaders agreed to end the protest and negotiate with the government, their actions reportedly led to a mild shortage of fuel across gas stations in Montevideo, Canelones, and Maldonado.

Although transport workers are not necessarily involved in the energy industry, they probably chose to block the Tablada plant to garner more public attention to their demands, especially given the low number of workers involved in the protest. Taking into account that the blockade represented a cost-effective action to draw attention to labor-related grievances, similar incidents cannot be ruled out in the upcoming weeks. The government is thus likely resort to legal actions to evict demonstrators causing disruptions. However, these disputes are unlikely to significantly affect consumers, or to cause a considerable impact in fuel supply across the country.

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