Chaozhou Taxi Drivers Strike

10:48 Dec 25 2008 Chaozhou China

From The China:

GUANGZHOU–Scores of taxi drivers went on strike in Chaozhou, Guangdong province, on Friday following hundreds of others who stopped work on Thursday, an employee surnamed Lin with the Jinqi Taxi Co told China Daily.

The initial protest, in which drivers demanded a limit on the number of taxis working in the city, ended with talks on Thursday between drivers’ representatives and Mayor Tang Xikun.

No violence was reported.

The municipal publicity department confirmed on Thursday that talks had taken place, but on Friday, the government information department declined to comment on the issue, and calls to the communications bureau went unanswered.

The strikes come less than two weeks after hundreds of Chaozhou taxi drivers took to the streets on Nov 16, demanding a halt to the issuing of new taxi licenses. The city currently has more than 800 licensed taxis.

Local authorities promised not to issue any new licenses over the next two years, and also to slow down the replacement of old taxis, Lin said.

The latest strike was triggered by media reports that the communications bureau was planning to issue new licenses to buses for the lucrative Chaozhou to Shantou route, although this has not been officially confirmed, Lin said.

Following a strike by taxi drivers in Shantou last week, authorities there cracked down on unlicensed operators, which authorized drivers have said as a serious threat to their business.

The Chaozhou and Shantou strikes follow similar protests staged recently in Chongqing and Sanya, Hainan province.
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