The Uruguayan government has moved to break up a strike among freight workers after the action caused severe shortages of basic supplies around the country.
A decree has been issued to the 25,000 drivers, which will treat any further strike action as a crime with legal consequences. The President of the Inter-Union of Land Transport Professionals has said the strike will continue regardless.
The drivers are striking over plans to increase the cost of fuel, and observers have warned that the government decree will only worsen the conflict.
The strikers are blocking traffic and access to fuel stations, and the government plans to evict them and has said it is prepared to use force if needed. The Central Unica de Trabajadores Union, that groups thousands of workers and staff from different sectors, has condemned the driver's strike and claims the strikers are attempting to destabilise government.