Reports indicate that a fuel shortage was recorded across Uruguay, including Montevideo, between December 6-9, following an industrial action by the Tank Trucks Drivers’ Union (UTC). The unionized workers decided not to supply fuel to the gas stations owing to poor safety conditions which purportedly led to an accident on December 5. On December 7, the government interceded in the conflict and struck a compromise with the workers to supply fuel in the northern half of the country. Talks between the government and the workers to find a solution to the conflict are to continue on December 10.
Although not recurrent, similar strikes by UTC are not unprecedented. Considering that the government has already reached a preliminary agreement with the union, the conflict will likely be resolved on December 10-11. However, if no solution to the conflict is settled, the government could resort to declaring the fuel transport as an essential service, thus obliging workers to supply gas stations despite the union’s wishes. In any case, fuel availability across gas stations will take days to normalize after the fuel supply is resumed.