Gas price rise fuels protest call
A union is appealing to taxi and minibus drivers to stage a protest in Central this morning against the rise in the price of liquefied petroleum gas on Wednesday and the new pricing formula.
The Motor Transport Workers General Union, which made the appeal yesterday, estimated that about 100 professional drivers would take part.
The union encouraged drivers to express their anger at the government by driving around the Murray Building, which houses the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau, three times.
It complained that specially designated gas stations were allowed to increase the price of LPG by 40 per cent, equal to $1 per litre, on Wednesday, just a month after the new pricing formula was introduced. The new system allows price reviews every month instead of twice a year.
'It's unfair to us because the government has already granted them [the gas stations] the land without a premium. They should then bear the fluctuation of fuel prices and not put the pressure on us,' union official Au Yeung Ming said. 'We hope the government will switch back to the original system, under which fuel companies can only adjust prices every six months.'
Under the old pricing formula, LPG prices at 12 dedicated refilling stations operated by CRC and ECO Energy were reviewed on February 1 and August 1 to reflect the price average of the previous six months.
The union did not think today's protest would cause traffic problems because it was only expected to involve 100 drivers.
'We are neither staging a slow-drive nor parking around the area,' Mr Au Yeung said. 'But we apologise if there is any inconvenience.'
More than 20 driver representatives will march from Chater Garden to the Murray Building at 10.30am to deliver a petition letter of union demands to transport minister Sarah Liao Sau-tung.