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Taxi drivers continue to strike in central China city
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08:14, April 13, 2009

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Taxi drivers on Sunday continued their strike in the central China city of Yueyang, Hunan Province.

The strike began on Friday when dozens of drivers parked their cabs outside an office building of the Yueyang municipal government, demanding the government help cut the high monthly fees they were required to pay taxi companies, police said.

More drivers joined the strike on Saturday. Police have detained 11 people for allegedly stopping taxis still operating, smashing the vehicles and beating the drivers to force them to join the strike, police said.

Yueyang has 11 taxi firms controlling about 1,600 taxis and employing 3,000 drivers. Under an agreement with the companies, each driver must pay the company about 6,400 yuan (941 U.S. dollars) per month.

Yi Lianhong, secretary of the Yueyang Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, on Sunday urged local authorities to listen to the taxi drivers' appeals and address the issue properly.

Strikes are rare in China, but taxi strikes have been reported in cities including Chongqing, Sanya and Shantou last year over high rental fees and unlicensed cabs.

Taxi drivers in those towns resumed work after the local authorities promised to reduce rental fees and to crack down on illegal cabs.


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