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China: The 3rd cabbies strike in 10 days. Now appeased.

After the cabbies strike in Chonqing which about 9000 drivers participated and over 100 taxis and 3 police cars were smashed during the course, another taxi strike broke out on 10, Nov, in the southern tourism city Sanya.

The cause, the same with the one in Chongqing, is overly high price charged by the taxi companies that are questioned to be monopoly, and the unfair competition with unlicensed taxis.

It was the third strike action by taxi drivers in China in 10 days. At as early as 6 am, about 200 drivers have gathered at the Sanya government headquarter to protest. [picture]They prosecuted that the taxi companies didn’t follow the regulated price set by the authority, and kept charging exorbitant fees for the cars they operate.

Media reported that the local street is nearly clear of taxis, and citizens had to take bus or motorcycle cabs instead.

Police reported that in some places the strike upgraded into violence. Cab drivers who refused to join in the operation were said to be beaten, and 28 have been arrested. The police alleged they were possibly gang members. But as the strike enters the 3rd day, more cab drivers demand the police to release their colleagues.

Representatives from each side, the government and cab drivers, were negotiating for a solution. The mayor apologized to the drivers for the loose regulation, and promised an all-in effort to give a satisfactory response.

Regarding that the arrested were categorized as gang members, lloouu222 on the internet mocked:

党和政府才是最大的黑恶势力啊。

The party and government are the real and major gangland powers.

Netizen 新李寻欢 warned:

重庆开了头,马上就要席卷全国了!

Chongqing has made a good beginning, and it will spread soon to the entire country!

A netizen named “I am Sanya driver”我是三亚司机 said:

我支持罢工,政府不给我门一个满意的回答我们就一直不营运。再说来过三亚的都知道三亚的黑车是最多的,有谁抓过,每天就知道抓出租车。

I am in support of the strike. We will not return to work until the government gives a satisfactory response. Everyone has been to Sanya would agree that it has the largest number of unlicensed cabs. Who has ever tried to catch them? All they (possibly refer to police that impose fine) know is to catch us.

Strikes are rare in China, because the authority will both crack down and muzzle the media report on such events. But the recent strike in Chongqing received an exceptional media coverage, and meanwhile, the government gave a positive solution that the fee was soon lowered and industry associations were allow to set up.

The Wall Street Journal cited a Chinese lawyer's comment in a long introductory passage of the recent cab driver strikes:

The Chongqing strike, which began Nov. 3, “made an impact,” said Zhou Litai, a Chongqing-based labor-rights lawyer. “People noticed that it worked.”

Therefore, it might have an exemplary effect to the those grieved cab drivers all over the country. But blogger Ratbaby noticed that this time the action of police might upgrade the clash:

但从最新的报道看,三亚警方所正在做的,不是试图平和的解决争端,恰恰是在客观上激化现有的矛盾。

按照有关部门的说法,被“强制带离现场”、“传唤至公安机关进行审查”的21名涉嫌违法人员,在罢运期间“参与煽动、拦阻、打砸正常营运出租车”。但恐怕没有人不明白,这其实是有关部门在处理突发事件时惯有的传统做法:枪打出头鸟,杀一儆百。

From the latest coverage, we see now what the Sanya police are doing now is not to tackle the problem in a peaceful way but to, objectively, intensify the conflict.

According to the administration, 21 suspects were forced away to police station for investigation, because they fanned violence, smashed and blocked taxis in normal service. But no one would not know that it is a convential way the authority deals with any situation as the idiom goes; “to kill the leading one to deter other hundreds”(杀一儆百).

And he warned against that,

只希望自己短暂的几年任期可以平安无事,问题爆出来之后也是能掩盖就掩盖。至于被一次又一次隐藏回社会肌体的越积越深的诸多问题,则是“我走后,哪管他洪水滔天”。这种畸形稳定观在官场的长期肆虐,让某些问题不科学的处理方法在重复千遍之后变成所谓的“先进经验”与“客观规律”,成为影响社会真正和谐的罪魁之一。

The authority only hopes to maintain the superficial peace for a few short years when they are in office. Even though problems might occasionally be exposed, they would try the best to cover up. Time after time problems were driven back, since the officials act regardless of what would happen after they leave. Such an abnormal view of stability ravages the officialdom, and makes an unscientific method to deal with problems come to be a “valuable experience” and “rule”. This, is what ruins our society.

Right now, the 4-day strike has come to an end. Cabs were persuaded back to work. But dose this mean a real solution, or, actually a signal of more incoming storms?

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