China: Taxi Drivers and Railway Workers on Strike

Global Voices Online collects and translates Weibo commentary on recent strikes by Hangzhou taxi drivers and Changsha railway employees. The latter case, in particular, resonates uncomfortably with Communist Party history.

“This morning, taxi drivers went on strike. They complained about traffic jams and low incomes. They earn about RMB 500 (USD $80) in one working day, but have to pay RMB 220 to the taxi license holding company and RMB 200 for the fuel. Their net income ends up at around RMB 70-80 (US$12). Once you subtract rent and food, there is nothing left. Most of the media reports talked about expensive fuel prices, traffic jams and low subsidies. What about the money given to the license holding companies? Why are ordinary people always the victims?” …

Employees of the railway company also held a strike at the Changsha railway station in Hunan province in south-central China on August 2, 2011. The incident is highly sensitive, because the Chinese Communist Party marks a series of railway workers’ strikes in 1922 as an early success of the political movement ….

… A local newspaper, ‘Daily Economic News’ followed the story and said that the strike was triggered by a minor labour dispute over the replacement of several passenger carriage directors at the Zhuzhou Service Division from Guangzhou Railway Corporation. Nevertheless, netizens still noticed the political implications of railway workers in the history of the People’s Republic of China.

See also earlier reports on the Hangzhou taxi drivers’ strike, via CDT

August 8, 2011 11:53 PM
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Categories: Politics, Society