Taxis end strike at Chiang Mai airport

CHIANG MAI - Metered taxi operators will resume services at Chiang Mai airport on Tuesday after a 12-day strike over a plan to hike monthly parking fees by 26 per cent.

Parking lots for metered taxis at Chiang Mai airport are empty, but drivers will return to work on Tuesday, after a 12-day strike in protest over fees for drivers operating out of the terminal - the busiest in the north of the country. (File photo by Cheewin Sattha)

Drivers agreed to return to work after Jed Yod Co, which holds the concession for providing taxi services out of the airport, agreed to scrap its plan to increase fees for cabbies in talks on Monday with members of the Nakhon Lanna Cooperative, which represents 120 metered taxis. 

The meeting was mediated by Chiang Mai airport officials keen to see an end to drivers' protests, which had been dragging on since Sept 5.

The strike was sparked by Jed Yod's plan to raise fees for taxi drivers from 7,500 baht to 9,500 baht a month, and from 10,000 baht to 25,000 baht a year.

Drivers complained the fee hike was unfair because they are already being squeezed by rising fuel prices.

Jed Yod on Monday agreed to scrap its plan to settle the conflict.  

Singkham Nanti, Nakhon Lanna Cooperative president, said that the problem had been resolved after the meeting, promising that taxi services would return to normal tomorrow.

Chiang Mai airport general manager Wing Cdr Lakchai Chaloeyprach said the airport had to step in to press Jed Yod to take action to end the drivers' protests, because the situation was damaging the image of public services at the airport.

The airport asked another taxi company, Chiang Mai Airport Transport Co, to help reduce passenger congestion during the strike, and sought help from local song thaew services to help passengers using the airport.

Chiang Mai airport is run by Airports of Thailand Plc and is the busiest airport serving northern Thailand.

Related search: Chiang Mai taxi strike, metered taxi operators, Chiang Mai airport, Nakhon Lanna Cooperative, Jed Yod Brothers Co, parking fees, concession, fuel prices

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Writer: Cheewin Sattha
Position: Writer