Three Striking Workers Detained in Sichuan

Taxi drivers in the city of Guangan, Sichuan province held a three-day strike on October 28, 29 and 30. The strike action was organised in protest against new regulations introduced by the local government. It lasted for three days and remained solid with no drivers accepting fares. A hotel worker in the city told CLB that guests at the hotel had no option but to use three-wheel pedicabs to get around.

An official from Guangan transport department confirmed the action had taken place. He said that the government had issued the new regulations governing taxis in the city in preparation for the 100th Anniversary of the birth of Deng Xiaoping, which they view as an opportunity to increase tourism in the city. The new regulations state that taxi drivers must trade in their cars for a new model and that expired operation licences would be put out to tender. In response, the cabbies say that they have yet to recuperate the costs of their initial investment in a car and there is no way that they can afford to purchase a new one. The strike is part of a campaign to force the government to drop the new regulations.

At least seventy per cent of the cabbies are former oil workers from Suining city who were made redundant due to restructuring in the oil industry. The traffic department official told CLB that police had detained three strikers.

Although the strike is now over, reports from the city indicate the government has increased police deployment in order to prevent a further action by the cabbies.

China Labour Bulletin
November 7, 2002
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