Staunton, July 5 – A delegation of Russia’s long-haul truckers met with legislators and officials to press their case on the Plato fee system and other issues of concern to the drivers. In addition, the truckers signaled that they will increasingly take part in protests organized by others, even as the authorities continue their crackdown against past and present strikers.
On Monday, representatives of the long-haul truckers met in the Duma with the head of the legislature’s transportation committee chairman, the official who oversees transportation issues in the capital, and also officials from other ministries and agencies to discuss a resolution to their demands (rosbalt.ru/russia/2017/07/04/1627994.html).
The drivers pointed out that “no more than 20 percent” of the promises Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev made to them in March have been fulfilled. Duma transport committee chairman Yevgeny Moskvichev said he would personally intervene to see what could be done to rectify that situation and plans to hold a meeting with Medvedev personally to that end.
As they have in the past, the truckers emphasized that if their demands are not addressed, they will seek to expand their strike from the small pockets that remain to the size of the strike that affected truck traffic across the country in April and May. But at the same time, they welcomed the fact that officials were now talking to them.
Meanwhile, Russian courts are handing out fines against truckers who took part in the work action earlier and making it clear that more will be forthcoming if the truckers violate the federal law on meetings and demonstrations in the future (e.g., newsmiass.ru/index.php?news=45965).
But perhaps the most important development this week as far as this ongoing labor action is concerned is that drivers have signaled that they intend to take part in protests organized by other groups in order to spread the word about their problems and gain additional support (rosbalt.ru/piter/2017/07/04/1628077.html).