Worapol Kaemkhunthod, second left, leads a taxi drivers' rally at the Transport Ministry in Bangkok on Tuesday. (Photo by Thodsapol Hongthong)
Representatives of taxi drivers rallied at the Transport Ministry on Tuesday, demanding 8.5 billion baht in compensation from the government if the GrabTaxi service is legalised -- and threatening to sue the prime minister and the transport minister if they didn't get it.
Leading the rally of his Association of Public Taxi Motorists, Worapol Kaemkhunthod said taxi drivers opposed all forms of ride hailing services, including GrabTaxi, because they took advantage of conventional taxi drivers.
"A Grab driver's costs are about 8,000 baht but a taxi driver's are over 25,000 baht per year. Aside from that, taxi drivers have to pay 20,000 baht for the Taxi OK application," Mr Worapol said, The Land Transport Department launched the Taxi OK app for taxi drivers.
"If ride hailing services are liberalised, we deserve compensation estimated at 8.5 billion baht," he said, basing the figure on the cost of the Taxi OK app and the number of taxi drivers.
Liberalised ride hailing services would make taxi drivers uncompetitive and crime would rise, Mr Worapol said.
If GrabTaxi is legalised, he said, his association would file a complaint with the Administrative Court against the prime minister, the transport minister and concerned transport officials for malfeasance causing damage to taxi drivers.
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compensation : money that someone receives because something bad has happened to them - เงินชดเชย
conventional : usual or normal - ธรรมดา
deserved : earned or given because of your behavior or qualities - สมควรได้รับ
hail : to signal to a taxi or a bus, in order to get the driver to stop - เรียก
liberalise : the freeing up of something; removing regulations and restrictions - การเปิดเสรี
malfeasance : illegal actions, especially by a person in authority - การใช้อำนาจไปในทางที่ผิด
oppose : to disagree with or not approve of a plan or policy - คัดค้าน
take advantage : to use (often unfairly) for your own benefit - เอาเปรียบ, หาประโยชน์ใส่ตัว
uncompetitive : not competitive; not as good as others -