Ecuadoreans found their nation at a standstill on Thursday, with major roads closed, taxis unavailable and public transportation shut down as the country’s transit unions declared a strike to protest President Lenín Moreno’s decision to strip away a $1.3 billion fuel subsidy, The New York Times reports.
According to Williee Armellini of Flowersandcents.com, Quito airport has also been shut down, which means no flowers are currently leaving the country.
Bloomberg reports that Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno declared a state of emergency as protesters barricade roads across the country over the fuel price hikes. Moreno pledged to maintain the policy of ending diesel and gasoline subsidies, which he says are no longer affordable.
Organizations reject strike
On October 3, Ecuador's national association of flower producers and exporters, Expoflores, sent out a statement saying that they do not support the national strike. "Expoflores supports the decisions taken by the National Government. [...] We reject the blackmail of other unions to paralyze our daily work and the development of Ecuador."
Expoflores further stated: "We do not believe in violence or threats, we work for economic growth, we encourage exports and productivity in the country. [...] Measures to paralyze activities do not solve the current situation; they only limit the productive development of the country. We must unite our efforts and ensure the future of our families and Ecuadorian companies."
Fedexpor, the federation of Ecuadoran exporters, shared this sentiment. "While there is much to do, and some of the measures involve a sacrifice and effort from the export sector, we understand that it is time to assume them with great responsibility and patriotism for the future of our families and the country. We reject the actions to stop transportation in all its modalities and call for the state agencies to act according to the law to safeguard public services, safety and the normal performance of productive activities."