Strike by container truck drivers brings Ningbo road to a standstill

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 August, 2014, 9:28pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 August, 2014, 10:12pm

Hundreds of container truck drivers in the coastal city of Ningbo went on strike for three days as they complained that transportation fees have not increased for eight years.

The strikers have been staging demonstrations on a major road since Monday and have attempted to stop the passing container trucks near Beilun port, south of Shanghai.

Striking drivers said they were protesting against transportation fees that have not increased in the past eight years, while petrol prices have more than doubled.

At least a hundred riot police, armed with helmet, batten, shield and K9 units, are seen deployed at the scene, trying to contain the situation.

Photos taken at the scene show a stand-off between strikers and the police has taken over a major road in Ningbo, prompting thousands of onlookers to gather.

Scuffles broke out between demonstrators and police officers who attempted to disperse the crowds, resulting in several people being dragged away from the scene by police.

Ningbo’s Container Transportation Association told the Qianjiang Evening News that it had already decided to raise the present guide rate for transport workers by 12 per cent after multiple rounds of negotiations that started in July. The new rates were due to be implemented on Friday.

But the association said that transportation rates should ultimately be set by transportation companies and private enterprises themselves. The striking truck drivers mostly worked for small transportation companies who did not have much clout over price negotiations.

The newspaper said the strike has not impacted on the port’s daily operation too much.

Out of the total of over 12,000 container trucks operating in Ningbo, only some 200 trucks had stopped working during the strike, it said.