Staunton, May 27 – Despite arrests, threats to drivers and their families, and the lack of coverage in government media, Russia’s long-haul truckers are continuing their strike, with ever more drivers signing up for the Carriers Union and ever greater coordination among branches of that union across the country.
Indeed, the only places where the strike action appears to have ebbed in recent days are those in the North Caucasus where local officials have been willing to enter into negotiations with the striking drivers (onkavkaz.com/news/1706-video-zhestkie-zaderzhanija-dagestanskih-dalnoboev-vlasti-nachali-izolirovat-protestuyuschih-ok.html).
But Moscow and many other regional capitals have proved unwilling to do that and instead have arrested some drivers, threatened them and members of their families with violence, and sought to block strikers from moving into parking areas by digging deep trenches across which the trucks can’t go (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/303349/).
That has made many drivers reluctant to take public actions although it has done nothing to get them to pay the Plato fees. Also yesterday, the drivers picked up additional political support. While in Ryazan, opposition leader Aleksey Navalny said that he would end what he called “the unjust Plato tax” if elected president (ya62.ru/news/politics/navalnyy_v_ryazani/).