Argentina Truckers Strike Puts Fuel Supplies At Risk

BUENOS AIRES (Dow Jones)–A truckers strike in Argentina’s biggest province on Wednesday is putting the distribution of fuel at risk, according to an industry official.

Workers belonging to the national truckers union are blocking access to and from fuel distribution centers in the Zarate, La Matanza, Bahia Blanca and Dock Sud areas in Buenos Aires Province to demand higher wages.

“The strike is affecting distribution at all the major companies,” an industry official said Wednesday.

Local television station C5N carried images of striking fuel truck drivers chatting and sipping Argentina’s traditional herbal tea drink, yerba mate, next to their vehicles Wednesday morning.

Companies affected include the local units of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA, RDSA.LN), Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR, PETR4.BR), or Petrobras, PF SA (YPF, YPFD.BA), the local unit of Spain’s Repsol YPF SA (REP, REP.MC) and Esso, the official said.

Spokesmen for the companies were not immediately available to comment.

It’s unclear how long the strike might last, but the industry official said it wouldn’t take long for the conflict to affect fuel supplies.

“We’re talking about hours,” the official said.

Hector Lopez, a spokesman for the truckers union, could not immediately provide more details about the strike or say how long it will last.
http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110504-714036.html

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