3,100 taxi drivers go on strike nationwide calling for the number of cabs to be limited
The National Federation of Automobile Transport Workers' Unions (Jiko-soren) on April 14 called a taxi driversf nationwide strike demanding that the number of cabs be limited, that working conditions, including wages, be improved, and that the taxi industry provide safe transportation services. The day's action drew media attention. Newspapers and television reported that the call for a cut in the number cabs as a social need.
Fifty-five unions in nine regions took part in the nationwide strike, in which 1,149 workers sat idle with 630 cabs for 1-24 hours. They marched in demonstration, petitioned the Diet, attended a rally, and took to the streets throughout the country.
1,000 cabs mobilized in Tokyo
About 1,000 cabs formed a line 1.5 km long in front of the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry. Stickers on their windows said: gOn strike!h and gSafety can only be ensured by limiting the numbers of cabs.h Some of the workers participated in the action after a night shift and petitioned the transport ministry, carrying slogans on straw mats, together with about 1,000 other participants.
Jiko-soren President IINUMA Hiroshi in his speech said, gOur struggle has contributed to reversing the trend of deregulation to strengthen regulation. In Tokyo, regional councils for the implementation of the Taxi Revitalization Law are working to get the number of cabs reduced by 20 percent. We will continue to struggle to reduce the number without fail and increase wages in this year's Spring Struggle.
President DAIKOKU Sakuji of the National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) spoke in solidarity with the striking workers. He said, gWhile helping large corporations to prosper, deregulation under neo-liberalism has further impoverished workers, widened the gap between rich and poor, and weakened regional economies. We will further increase the movement in the Spring Struggle to win improvement in working conditions and press the Democratic Party government to implement the promise to fundamentally revise the Worker Dispatch Law.
Newspapers and TV gave coverage to strike
In Hokkaido, tax drivers went on strike in heavy snow. They held an assembly in the companyfs compounds.
In Miyagi, 120 taxi drivers held a rally with 70 cabs. Two local TV stations gave coverage to the workersf strike.
In Fukushima and Saitama, workers designated by the union went on strike and made representations to the district Transport Bureau.
Tax drivers in Kanagawa also went on strike.
In Fukuoka, local newspapers gave coverage to the taxi driversf strike and their march in demonstration with cabs.
In Oita and Kagoshima, striking taxi drivers took to the streets for publicity.
In Ishikawa, strikers held a rally and a march in demonstration.
In Osaka, workers assembled in front of the local Taxi Association. Some of them also visited the district Transport Bureau.