Local May 7, 2012 | 2:00 pm

Dominican Republic’s “owners” say they own its ports too

SANTO DOMINGO. – The head of the powerful truckers union (Fenatrado), Blas Peralta, Monday challenged the Shipping Company Association to open the ports during the planned 24 hour strike starting 6am Tuesday until Wednesday.

“If they want they can go tomorrow to the ports and open them… Nobody is going to enter the ports, the ports are ours, we are the ones who control the transport here,” Peralta said on Nota Diferente 95.7 FM radio.

The heads of the truckers and bus owners unions have earned the moniker “country’s owners” for the fear they strike in president Leonel Fernandez’s Administration and their numerous violent strikes which go unpunished.

“Here in this country there’s just one transport system after merchandise arrives; that’s Fenatrado’s trucks and the ports will be closed tomorrow Tuesday and Wednesday, and we’ll see who has the force in the ports, if they the lowlifes (shipping companies) or the truck drivers,” Peralta said, adding that the strike is the Government’s fault, on its alleged RD$300.0 million debt with the truckers.

Shipping lines

Shipping Company Association vice president Aníbal Piña vowed to open the ports’ gates to work normally despite Fenatrado’s call to strike. “We as private sector are going to continue working normally, however, so importers and exporters can transport their freight, the Government, the State, must guarantee free transit.”

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