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Police In Havana Deploy In Response To Taxi Driver Strike

Police In Havana Deploy In Response To Taxi Driver Strike / 14ymedio

14ymedio, Havana, 27 February 2017 — Residents of Havana woke up on
Monday morning to a strong police deployment, motivated by the
announcement of a strike by private taxi drivers. In response to a
question from 14ymedio, a uniformed officer said that it was “an
operation due to the overcharging by the taxi drivers.”

“As of Monday, 27 February, we drivers all over Cuba are going to
strike. We will simply stay home and not wok on those days,” said a text
that circulated several days earlier on the alternative media. However,
many drivers were unaware of the initiative or declined to participate,”
according to what 14ymedio was able to confirm.

The drivers’ discontent has been growing since the beginning of this
month when the authorities of the capital set fixed rates for the
portions of the routes of private taxi drivers. This decision has put an
end to the law of supply and demand that regulated the private
transportation of passengers for more than two decades.

“They are afraid that we will go to the Plaza of the Revolution like the
pedicab drivers did last year,” a driver who preferred anonymity and
decided not to work on Monday told 14ymedio. “I’m going to stay home all
week, even if I lose money, it’s my right,” he said.

Faced with the pressures of the authorities many drivers have reacted by
no longer serving the intermediate stops or selecting only those
customers who make the complete route

Others have gone out to drive like any other day. “This ‘ship’ is the
food for my family, I can’t give myself the luxury of not working,”
explains Reinier, a young driver who works in a car he rents from its
owner. For those who work in this way it is more difficult to join in
any initiative to stop work or protest.

The passengers are complaining abut the delays. “I spent an hour and
couldn’t move from this corner,” said a customer who was at the
intersection of Infanta and Neptune waiting for a taxi to go to to
Playa. “The transport situation was much worse today,” he added.

Faced with the pressures of the authorities many drivers have reacted by
no longer serving the intermediate stops or selecting only those
customers who make the complete route. The response of the carriers has
been fewer taxis on the streets, a way to pressure the authorities to
take a step back.

The call for a strike this Monday circulated anonymously and several
drivers expressed to 14ymedio their doubts about the authenticity of the
call. Nevertheless, all those consulted were aware of the proposal that
was made known in blogs, news sites and television programs that are
seen through the illegal antennas.

“We are victims of a daily siege by police agents, state inspectors and
other entities,” the text warned. Those calling for a strike are
demanding access to a wholesale market (for fuel and other needs), the
reduction of taxes, and the right to create an independent trade union.

According to the latest data from the Ministry of Labor and Social
Security, more than 535,000 people are self-employed, of whom 54,350 are
engaged in freight and passenger transport.

Source: Police In Havana Deploy In Response To Taxi Driver Strike /
14ymedio – Translating Cuba –
translatingcuba.com/police-in-havana-deploy-in-response-to-taxi-driver-strike-14ymedio/

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