Taxi Strike Assembly
Taxi cabs are ubiquitous in Koreabut there were none to be seen on the streets of Seoul on Wednesday.
[Interview : Oh Han-na, Anyang-si Resident] "Seriously there are no taxis around so I have to take the bus. It wasn't like this yesterday"
At the stroke of midnight Wednesday, taxi drivers began their first-ever 24-hour strike by suspending operations.
And once the sun rose, many of those on strike showed up in central Seoul for a rally.
[Reporter : Kim Hyun-bin, email@example.com] "I am here at Seoul Plaza, where drivers for the country's first taxi strike are gathering, with more than forty-thousand participants from all around the country."
About 80 percent of the nation's taxi drivers are taking part in the strike, which is in response to rising fuel prices and the stagnant nature of basic fares.
The unions say a surge in liquid petroleum gas prices over the past three years and a cap on initial fares since 2009 are financially squeezing cab drivers.
They say it's high time their concerns were addressed by the central government.
[Interview : Kim Jong-yul, Taxi Driver] "The strike is about taxi fares, which need to be increased, but the government is ignoring us. That is why this assembly is being held. The LPG gas prices need to be reduced as well. Hopefully, the city of Seoul will cooperate with us."
To cope with the effects of the strike, Korea's transport ministry put more buses into service on Wednesday, and the hours for subway operations are being extended.
Also, voluntary driving restrictions to limit traffic congestion were temporarily lifted for the day.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News
Reporter : firstname.lastname@example.org