Truck drivers, fed up with fuel prices shrinking their bottom lines, have united across the U.S. to protest, organizing a number of small and large demonstrations to draw attention to their cause.
Earlier this month, independent owner-operators planned strikes around the country, with shutdowns reported in Pittsburgh, Knoxville and Savannah, among others. Yet none of the protests made a major impact, and despite growing mainstream media attention, it appeared to be much ado about nothing.
Unhappy drivers have since changed course and have begun protests in major metropolitan areas. Organized by a group called Truckers and Citizens United, which spearheaded an earlier shutdown in Harrisburg, PA, a convoy of trucks descended upon Washington, D.C. yesterday to call attention to their cause.
“There is only one way to be heard and that’s by showing solidarity,” the group said.“The guys organizing all of this are the same ones that brought you the April 1 Shut Down and the convoy that was in fact heard loud and clear in Harrisburg, PA. Drivers and citizens are tired of paying high fuel cost all across the country. We are standing up together to make a difference.”
According to a report in The Washington Post, the District Dept. of Transportation said 100 to 125 trucks participated in the protest, but did not cause any traffic problems. Truckers and Citizens United plans a second shutdown this Thursday in New York City.
Average diesel prices have risen four cents for the week of April 28, reaching a national average of $4.18 per gallon, $1.37 more than a year ago this week. This marks an increase of $0.22 in the past month.
For the first time this year, the highest diesel prices this week are in California, which is averaging $4.39 per gallon, followed closely by the Central Atlantic region at $4.38. The least expensive fuel is in the Gulf Coast region, where the average stands at $4.11, and the Midwest region, where the average price is $4.13.
Truckers and Citizens United’s website outlines their long-term goals, which include stopping subsidies to large oil companies; releasing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; stopping oil exports from Alaskan reserves; decreasing refined diesel exports; enacting legislation protecting professional drivers against shippers, receivers and companies delaying drivers, and uniform fines for violations for all states.listed a number of solutions for reducing fuel costs.