Bus drivers strike in dispute over contracts

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 November, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 November, 2008, 12:00am

Contracted bus drivers in Qingdao, Shandong province , went on strike while calling for contract extensions on Monday, disrupting long-distance services between the city and Jiaonan , the Qingdao-based Qilu Evening News reported.

The strike followed similar actions during the past two weeks over pay and conditions by about 8,000 Chongqing taxi drivers as well as cab drivers in Gansu and Hainan provinces.

The drivers, who pay the city for the right to operate the Qingdao-Jiaonan route, told the newspaper the city-owned bus company was trying to impinge on their rights.

The striking drivers said they signed 10-year contracts with the Qingdao Public Transport Corporation, but with the contracts due to expire the company had refused to renew them.

The drivers said the company wanted to force the subcontracted buses off the profitable route. The stoppage caused delays at some bus stations, but the company quickly brought in buses from other routes.

A company official was quoted as saying the privately owned buses were a safety hazard.

The official said the private bus drivers regularly parked on the side of the expressway to let passengers board, they were overloaded and sped.