Taxi drivers in South Korea to hold mass rally vs carpool service

By: Inquirer.net December 12,2018 - 09:29 PM

 

SEOUL — The conflict between the country’s taxi industry and information technology giant Kakao has escalated to new heights after a taxi driver burned himself to death in protest.

The taxi unions, which have staged multiple protests demanding that Kakao withdraw its plans to engage in the transportation business in South Korea, said Tuesday that they will hold another rally December 20 in front of the National Assembly.

Beginning Wednesday, some union members will set up tents and hold sit-in demonstrations around the parliament, they added.

We plan to surround the National Assembly with 10,000 taxis and block the Seogang Bridge.

“We will not avoid physical fights with the police. We will not care about violating the law. We will fight for the next generation,” Kang said.

The taxi unions said they would put up a tough fight against Kakao Mobility over its ride-hailing service set to launch next week.

The taxi drivers claim the commercial carpool service violates Korea’s transportation law and threatens their job security and livelihoods.

“Incidents like this are going to occur again. The government must suspend Kakao’s carpooling service and provide a solution and measures to help the struggling taxi industry,” Kang Sin-pyo, the chief of the National Taxi Labor Union, said after a meeting Tuesday.

At around 2 p.m. on Monday, a corporate taxi driver identified only by his surname, Choi, set himself on fire in his taxi in front of the National Assembly.

Before the incident, Choi, 57, reportedly told another driver that he wanted to carry out self-immolation because of the “Kakao carpool.” with reports from The Korea Herald/Asia News Network

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TAGS: carpool, drivers, Korea, Mass, rally, service, south, taxi

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