Staunton, VA, April 26, 2017 – While some drivers are going home briefly to plant their gardens and while officials are claiming that the strike is collapsing, striking drivers in Dagestan issued an appeal to Vladimir Putin on April 26 detailing their grievances.
Arguing that the current situation in the transportation sector is “unjust,” the drivers say that they have five demands they are confident will “improve” the situation. These demands include: complete cancellation of the Platon system, an end to the transportation tax, better weighing of trucks and cargoes, better work rules, and a new system for calculating fuel taxes.
Significantly, the drivers base their arguments on constitutional grounds, arguing that the Platon system and other rules violate particular provisions of the 1993 Russian Constitution as well as specific Russian legislation.
Other developments in the long-haul truckers’ strike during the last 24 hours include:
· Fears among ever more drivers that the authorities are going to stage one or more provocations against them.
· A widespread decision among drivers no longer to watch Moscow television and indications that the younger drivers are even more radical than their elders.
· Some truckers say that the regional authorities are so clumsy in their handling of the strike that soon they will be calling on drivers to name their children “Platon”.
· Residents of Kirov have announced a demonstration in support of the strike for April 27.
· Drivers in Sakha say they will convene a republic congress of drivers on May 5.