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Hubei Taxi Drivers on Strike to Protest New Government Fee

Since November 24, no taxi has been running in Suizhou City of Hubei Province. The city’s 500+ taxis are parked, with some drivers petitioning in front of the city government.

The strike is said to be caused by a city government directive issued on November 15. It asked for an annual 4,000 yuan “operation fee” from each of the 550 taxi cabs running in the city. The fee is levied for a four year term. If the driver does not pay the money by the end of 2008, the city police will confiscate his license.

Burdened by multiple administrative fees and charges, the taxi drivers are left with a meager disposable income off of which to live. The newly added government charge has become the last straw. The strike has been going on for two days. There is no effective dialogue between the city government and taxi drivers.

Source: Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch, November 25, 2008