Blockade of the CNTE in Michoacán leaves millions in losses to companies


The business sector is losing some 52 million dollars a day due to the blockades of the CNTE in Michoacán.

Blockade of the CNTE in Michoacán. Photo: Cultura Colectiva
Blockade of the CNTE in Michoacán. Photo: Cultura Colectiva

A blockade that maintains a group of teachers on railroads in the state of Michoacán has generated estimated losses of more than 50 million dollars a day to the industry, according to data from the business sector.

A group of teachers belonging to the National Coordinating Union of Education Workers (CNTE) blocked the railways in the state since January 14 to claim back wages, among others.

Therefore, the transfer of various products such as grains, steel rolls and fuel from the vital port of Lázaro Cárdenas, in the Pacific Ocean, to the center of the country has been affected.

"The delays are causing losses amounting to one billion pesos a day (about 52 million dollars), not counting the collateral damage," the influential Business Coordinating Council (CCE) said in a statement.

The Mexican Association of Shipping Agents said that since the beginning of the blockade there are 251 affected freight trains, which impacts "the transit of 2.1 million tons of freight that stopped being transported".

The organization added that the motor transport "is insufficient to move the merchandise".

Lourdes Aranda, vice president of government relations and communication at Ferromex, one of the country's largest rail operators, warned Televisa on Monday that there may be food shortages.

"We bring, for example, corn in all its varieties and seeds, but there may be a shortage of wheat flour and corn flour, which would mean that some of the daily consumption as bread or as an omelet may be affected."

The CCE demanded that the authorities find a solution to the blockade and stated that it can not be allowed that "strategic means, such as railroad communication channels, are subject to political extortion by minority groups."

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said that he will not "repress" the people and that the issue corresponds to the government of Michoacán.

"It's a matter of lack of payment to state teachers, it's a responsibility of the state government," Lopez Obrador said Tuesday at his usual press conference.

The president recalled that funds were already sent from the federal government to pay teachers.