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Strike phone messages see cabbies arrested

POLICE in central Henan Province have arrested five taxi drivers for sending mobile phone messages to try to organize a cabbies' strike.

Police have taken the drivers into custody and they have been accused of disturbing the social order, Yang Yuzhang, deputy director of public security bureau in Zhengzhou, the capital city, said at a press conference yesterday.

Cab drivers in Zhengzhou received a message on February 4 saying that all taxis should stop working on March 1 to increase cabbies' wages, according to the Henan Business Daily report today.

More than 50 cabbies received the message which had been sent by Guo Guanghui, who had talked with Li Yanjie about earning more money by calling a strike. Guo bought a new sim card for his phone and disposed of it after sending the messages.

Guo wanted to borrow 5,000 yuan (US$731) from Li to repay some of the 300,000 yuan he had borrowed to buy the taxi. Li thought Guo would not be able to repay the money with a nightly income of just over 200 yuan while Li was earning about 800 yuan a night.

Another of the accused, Gong Jian, forwarded the message to more than 100 other drivers and Tang Xinjiang who then relayed the message to another 80.

The fifth accused, Zhao Hongqiang, handed out leaflets calling for action after he received the message.

Police arrested them on Sunday.


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