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Guangzhou Spared Taxi Strike
Update: 12/4/2008 1:18:00 PM Source: Guangdong Travel

Calls for taxi drivers in Guangzhou to go on strike went unheeded on Monday, China Daily was told.

A taxi driver surnamed Fang said he received a text message in the morning from fellow workers to stop work and go to the city government office to express his grievances.

However, Fang said he decided to continue working, and "see what developed" during the day.

China Daily found that there were about 20 police officers stationed at the city government office, much more than the usual number of five.

Another taxi driver surnamed Zhong said he learned that some colleagues in the Xinshi area of the city stopped work

"I am not aware of this," Wu Honggang, secretary-general of the Guangzhou taxi association, said.

New measures taken by the city government and talks between city leaders and representatives of taxi drivers may have avoided an all out strike, transport sources said.

On Sunday, the Guangzhou government issued eight measures to address the concerns of taxi drivers, which took effect on Monday.

They included a reduction of rental fees by 500 yuan (USD 75) a month and the elimination of the 300 yuan monthly parking fee.

"No matter what action the government has taken, the 800 yuan reduction does not ease the pressure on us in the current economic climate," Shen Jiefang, a driver with Jiaotong Taxi Co Ltd, said.

A driver surnamed Guo with the Guangzhou Lishifeng Taxi Co Ltd, also considered the fee reduction to be negligible.

"The cut is too small when compared to the total fee of more than 10,000 yuan for each taxi per month," Guo said.

He said many taxi drivers were expecting the government to do more such as offering short-time parking spaces so that they could go to the toilet or have a quick meal, and improve the safety of drivers working the night shift, he said.

The police and transport authorities Monday jointly launched a campaign to crack down on the operation of illegal taxis in the districts of Huangpu and Baiyun.

"Unlicensed taxi drivers are affecting the incomes of the licensed ones, it is unfair," Xie Yalin, deputy director of the municipal communication commission of Guangzhou, said.

The Xinhua News Agency reported that about 200 taxi drivers in Chaozhou, Guangdong province, held a strike from Thursday to Saturday.

Editor: canton fair

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