Truck drivers in slow-drive fee protests

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2001, 12:00am

Drivers of more than 100 trucks staged slow-drive protests across Hong Kong yesterday in opposition to a $40 cargo-handling fee at Kwai Chung Container Terminal.

The largest group of 60 trucks travelled from the terminal to the Tamar site, in Central, through the Cross-Harbour Tunnel yesterday morning.

Other trucks reportedly staged similar protests at different locations and times during the day.

Police said yesterday's protests did not cause major traffic disruption and no one was arrested. The action came as drivers' group the Joint Committee on China-Hong Kong Transport Trade disbanded on Monday after police objected to a truck rally and slow-drive protest to Central.

The group's chief organiser, Chiang Chi-wai, said he now had no faith in the Government's desire to resolve the seven-month-old row.

Executive Council member Henry Tang Ying-yen said the Government should stay out of the dispute, which he felt was commercial.

The dispute flared again last Thursday after two mid-stream operators said drivers must present coupons showing they had paid the fee in order to enter yards to drop off or pick up cargo. The move ended a grace period introduced by the Hong Kong Mid-stream Operators' Association after blockades outside yards in February and March.