Cabbies limit service at Yongsan
April 24, 2008
SEOUL — Customers trying to call a cab at U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan may have to wait during certain hours of the day.
Drivers with one of two taxi companies serving the garrison are turning off their radios for four hours each day — from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. — in protest after their employer denied their request for a pay increase.
The taxis will still operate. But customers trying to call a taxi to a specific location will probably face delays during those hours, said Army and Air Force Exchange Service spokesman Master Sgt. Donovan Potter.
Drivers with Worldcup Arirang Tourism Co., one of two taxi companies at Yongsan, began the practice Tuesday.
Arirang officials did not return calls to Stars and Stripes on Tuesday.
Potter said drivers at bases in Area I also might participate in the strike, and it’s up to drivers to decide if they want to join.
He said AAFES, which contracts the companies, sent a warning letter to Arirang on Tuesday requiring drivers to immediately return to answering their radios at all hours.
If the drivers don’t comply, AAFES will “take further contractual/administrative action accordingly,” he said in an e-mail to Stripes.
Officials asked Yonhap Transportation, the second taxi company at Yongsan, to provide increased service during the strike hours.
Arirang drivers went on strike for 13 days over pay disputes in 2006, slowing service at Area I and II bases to a crawl. After the strike, drivers received $105 in one-time bonuses, far less than the $105 more per month they initially requested.
AAFES hired a second on-base cab company in July.