x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

More than 200,000 South Korean taxi drivers go on strike

About 220,000 of South Korea's 255,500 taxi drivers staged a rare day-long strike toay for higher fares and cheaper fuel.

Taxi drivers go on strike on Seoul today.
Taxi drivers go on strike on Seoul today.

SEOUL // More than 200,000 South Korean taxi drivers staged a rare day-long strike toay for higher fares and cheaper fuel.

About 220,000 of the country's 255,500 licensed drivers joined the stoppage, the transport ministry said, adding there would be extra buses in the capital Seoul and the second city Busan, and more trains on the Seoul subway.

"We don't expect any major transportation crisis since taxis are not a major part of people's daily commute," a ministry spokesman said. "But we are still keeping a close eye on the situation."

There was no major turmoil during morning commuting hours because of the increased bus and subway services and the absence of taxis actually eased gridlock on the roads, Yonhap news agency reported.

Tens of thousands of drivers were expected to stage a huge rally in central Seoul later in the day, the Korean Taxi Workers' Union said.

It wants a rise in the flagfall of 2,400 South Korean won (Dh7.65) and cuts in the price of liquefied petroleum gas, on which most taxis run.

"The anger of taxi drivers that has long been bottled up is finally exploding on June 20," the union said in a statement.

It said the domestic LPG price has increased by 50 per cent over the past four years and accused fuel providers of "pocketing massive profits ... while the livelihood of taxi drivers couldn't get worse".

"This is our final ultimatum asking for our survival," the union said.