by WorldTribune Staff, June 11, 2018
Truck drivers in several Chinese provinces clogged national highways and parking lots to protest what they say are higher operating costs, decreasing wages and police harassment, reports said.
The drivers, some of whom were shouting “overthrow the CPC,” called for the strike via social media with an anonymous statement urging 30 million truckers across the country to refuse work.
Reports said the strike began in Jiangxi Province and quickly spread to Shandong Province.
The drivers went on strike to voice their displeasure over high gasoline prices, excessive highway tolls and routine harassment from traffic police, the Liberty Times reported.
Reports suggest strikes are still underway in Anhui, Guizhou, Hubei, Jiangxi, Shandong and Zhejiang provinces as well as Chongqing and Shanghai municipalities.
Hong Kong-based China Labour Bulletin (CLB) said video footage of stationary trucks in long lines circulated on social media, but posts relating to the strike were quickly deleted.
“This combined with the complete silence of the official media on the subject has made it virtually impossible to assess the actual extent of the strike,” CLB reported.
Official Chinese media and government departments have yet to comment on the strike.
Radio Free Asia (RFA) quoted a driver who said he used to work in long-distance haulage at a time when truckers stood to make a decent profit margin.
“When I was driving trucks, fuel wasn’t that expensive, but it’s very expensive now,” the man, identified only by his surname Shen, said. “Another thing is that you have to pay fees and tolls everywhere you go, such as toll fees to use the motorway or national highways. Even small places are charging money now.”
“Another problems is fines, or rather, not exactly a fine, but some money you give to the policeman so you will be allowed to go on your way,” he said. “There are also people everywhere you go that we could call the mafia … who are names in that place, who you have to pay, so you can get through … without any obstacles.”