Chongqing aims to calm striking taxi drivers
Chongqing announced measures yesterday aimed at addressing the grievances of striking taxi drivers, but most were still refusing to return to work, state media and residents said.
The government promised to 'revise' the amount of revenue drivers must pay to their companies, increase the supply of natural gas and do more to crack down on unlicensed taxis, Xinhua said.
Details had yet to be worked out, a government spokesman was quoted as saying.
The strike, which began on Monday, revolves around a wide range of issues, including fuel shortages and high or frequent fines by police. Drivers have to pay up to 400 yuan (HK$450) to their companies a day, meaning they need to drive long hours before breaking even.
Residents said it remained nearly impossible to find a taxi yesterday, while some driving on the streets refused to take passengers.
'I basically don't see an improvement. I still can't see one taxi,' one resident said in an internet posting.
A local newspaper said 1,000 taxis of an estimated 8,000 to 9,000 in the urban areas had gone back to work by late on Monday.
The government was pressing taxi companies to persuade their drivers to return to work.
Strikers damaged at least 20 vehicles, including three police cars, on Monday. They also smashed cars of drivers who refused to participate in the strike and pulled drivers and passengers out of taxis.
Chongqing, one of four big municipalities given the same status as a province, is an industrial base for western China and the gateway for trips down the Yangtze River.