Staunton, June 21 – The long-haul truckers, who have been striking against the Plato fee system, have decided to extend their action into politics and to do so in the same way that they have conducted themselves in the past: from below rather than above and using their parking places as agitation sites.
In today’s Nezavisimaya gazeta, journalist Yekaterina Trifonova says that the truckers’ proposed candidate, Carrier Union president Andrey Bazhutin says that the decision to nominate him is “a healthy decision” and that he and the truckers plan to “go with it to the end” in the expectation of picking up support from others (ng.ru/politics/2017-06-21/1_7012_dalnoboy.html).
Many groups of Russians have had the same experience the drivers have, he says: the authorities are unwilling to talk to them. Among them are many workers whose wages haven’t been paid, farmers, opponents of the Moscow renovation program, and those who have suffered by the actions of the big banks.
The union leader continues that the truckers have no plans to drop their demands for a meeting with the transportation minister in order to begin negotiations about the Plato fee system. If the minister continues to refuse to meet, Bazhutin says, the union will make political demands including calling for the retirement of the Medvedev election.
He suggests the drivers are especially angry because the authorities are backing away from some of their earlier concessions, demanding that truckers pay the Plato fees in order to be exempted from local taxes (arigus.tv/news/item/95452/?r1=ya