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80,000 Truckers to Strike Over Diesel Prices in Thailand

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On Monday, November 1st about 80,000 truckers, including tour buses, will stop running to see the capping of diesel prices nationwide for one year. The strict also coincides with Thailand’s reopening to foreign arrivals

Diesel Trucks and some tour buses will stop running to put pressure on the Prayut government to meet the demand or the price of diesel to be capped for one year.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the Land Transport Federation of Thailand (LTFT) said in a statement that it had already notified the Thai National Shippers’ Council, the Thai Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Council of Thailand about its decision to have 20% of the trucks under the federation to stop running for seven days.

The Truckers strike is under the campaign called “truck power.”

The truck power campaign may cause losses estimated at several billion baht. Furthermore, it could be extended to 15 days or a month if the government continues to ignore their demand, the LTFT said.

The Thai government is presently choosing to cap the diesel prices at 30 baht/litre and is introducing more biodiesel as a cheaper alternative.

The federation also said that a number of tour bus drivers have decided to join the campaign because they have received no help from the Prayut government during the COVID-19 pandemic. Government lockdowns have had devastating impacts on tour bus operators due to the absence of tourists.

A senior transport expert at Thailand’s Development Research Institute (TDRI), said that the Prayut government should not interfere with the oil price mechanism. Even more, it should develop a means to help people who will be affected by the truck drivers’ strike.

The Kasikorn Research Centre, meanwhile, told Thai PBS that the average price of diesel this year is about 26 baht/litre, an increase of 15% over the previous year. This has translated into additional production and transportation costs for Thailand’s business sector, amounting to 76 billion baht in transportation costs.

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