Central China Taxi Drivers Returning to Work after Strike
    2009-06-06 01:43:53     Xinhua      Web Editor: LiuDonghui
 
The majority of striking taxi drivers in a central China city had resumed work Friday after the government promised to deal with their protest against illegal competition from physically disabled drivers.

Cabs were seen running in downtown Chenzhou City and the municipal government said almost 70 percent of the city's 1,000 licensed cabbies were taking passengers as of 10 p.m.

The government said officials were still trying to persuade some of the remaining 300-odd drivers to return to work as soon as possible.

No gatherings of striking taxi drivers were seen in public Friday.

Hundreds of taxi drivers went on strike Thursday in Chenzhou to protest illegal competition from handicapped people who use their own vehicles to carry passengers for profit without approval by authorities or paying any fees.

Many returned to work Thursday afternoon after Chenzhou Mayor Xiang Lili promised to crack down on the illegal business during a meeting with some 30 representatives of the striking drivers.

An estimated 180 handicapped people or more have used vehicles that they bought themselves to earn money by carrying passengers.

The drivers also complained about high rental fees charged by taxi companies and relative authorities.

A crack-down against unlicensed drivers was launched on Thursday to stamp out all illegal transportation business in the city.

The city government said an investigation team comprising officers of price, fiscal, audit, supervision, city management, industrial and commerce authorities would begin to investigate the administration fees for taxis in the city on Saturday.

China has seen a series of taxi strikes over the past year as drivers complained mainly about unlicensed competition and rising rental fees.
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