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April 25, 2011

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City plans to halt illegal truck fees

SHANGHAI is to crack down on all unauthorized fees charged to independent truck drivers to "reduce the transport industry burden" in response to a three-day strike by some truck drivers last week, the local transport and price authorities said yesterday.

The government departments said in a notice that they would also cancel some authorized fees set by container yards.

Other items which would increase transport costs will also be lowered, the authorities said. For example, tolls for container trucks on the S2 Expressway are to be lowered from 55 yuan (US$8.50) to 50 yuan, and similar reductions will apply on the city's other expressways.

The notice warned anyone found still charging truck drivers unauthorized fees would be severely punished.

Meanwhile, there may be subsidies for container yards that find themselves in financial difficulties.

Hundreds of truck drivers gathered near a port in Baoshan District last Wednesday to protest rising fuel prices and other costs.

The drivers, mostly working for small and medium-sized companies delivering and receiving goods to the ports, went on strike because they "could not earn a living with rising fuel prices and unchanged wages," a driver surnamed Huang said.

He said a two-day trip to Suzhou would earn him around 1,200 yuan, but the fuel cost 700 yuan, and with the addition of road tolls and truck maintenance fees, he was left with about 100 yuan.

"We stopped working to put pressure on the companies," the 39-year-old Huang said.


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