taxistas huelga

posted in: politics | 0

Originally uploaded by elizajanecurtis

we tried to take a taxi to the Juana Molina show on Friday night and ended up in a crazy huge traffic jam approaching Avenida 9 de Julio. After a half-hour sitting around listening to honking horns, we gave up and walked to the show. When we reached the Obelisco we saw that the cause of the kilombo was like 100 taxis parked in the middle of the intersection, spilling down 9 de Julio and Corrientes!
Protests and strikes are really common here. For instance, there have been two subway strikes recently, when all the subways are shut down and everyone has to take the bus or drive or walk. Other days, when the Subte employees want to send a message to the corporation, but they don’t want to ruin everyone’s day by stopping service, they will just open the turnstiles and everyone rides for free.
This particular strike (en castellano, huelga o paro) was related to a problem with gas supply. Most taxis here run on a type of natural gas (GNC), which is the same stuff used for heating homes. Buenos Aires has been suffering a record-breaking cold spell so GNC supplies are running low and eventually the government told the gas companies to stop selling GNC to gas stations and reserve it for heating homes and businesses. Other cars run on regular gasoline, but taxis use GNC, which is cheaper. One by one, all the GNC gas stations dried up and shut down and so the Taxistas couldn’t work, and expressed their anger by parking all their taxis in the middle of the city’s biggest intersection! I read that other taxis were parked blocking the entrances and exits to the highways as well. It’s interesting to try and imagine this scenario in New York, I’m pretty sure it could never happen. In part, that’s great because it was a huge pain in the ass, but in part it’s sad because I feel that individual people in the USA just don’t have the same sense of solidarity and the same willingness to group together and make visible statements in this way.

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