Jonathan Watts: Where cabbies are cheery but skint

From the Guardian:

Beijing has some of the most downtrodden taxi drivers on the planet. According to the China Daily, the average cabbie works 106 hours a week, and takes home only 1,817 renminbi (£120) a month.

Even as China’s economy steams ahead, their earning potential is slowing down. Traffic volume has doubled in less than five years. On the average day, they are stuck in jams for at least three hours, when the meter clicks forward only 1 renminbi (7p) for every five minutes.

A limit on the number of licences and the absence of unions give Beijing’s 200 taxi companies an unfair advantage over their employees. The ’s 66,000 drivers must pay more than half of their fares to their bosses and another quarter on fuel and repairs.

See a previous article on ’ rights here.

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