Amid fears of petrol shortages, Argentina has ordered its military police to take control of fuel depots after a crippling strike by lorry drivers.
The powerful drivers’ union, which called the three-day action in a dispute over pay, has refused talks with the government.
The walk-out has led to clashes at picket lines and long queues at petrol stations in the capital Buenos Aires as consumers stock up.
Drivers say they want a 30 percent pay increase linked to Argentina’s current 25 percent annual inflation.
“I think the government is a bit nervous and all we want them to do is listen to the workers’ demands, not just for a 30 percent raise, but what we’ve been saying over a year,” said Pablo Moyano, Secretary-General of the Truck Drivers’ Union.
The strike comes weeks after the government seized the country’s biggest oil company YPF.
President Cristina Fernandez returned early from a UN conference in Brazil to deal with the walkout.