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Low turnout as taxi drivers in Lebanon strike
Lebanese taxi drivers take part in a strike in Dora, Beirut, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
Lebanese taxi drivers take part in a strike in Dora, Beirut, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)
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BEIRUT: Taxi drivers protested in Lebanon Wednesday as the union called a strike over several demands, including a cap on the price of fuel and increasing NSSF benefits for drivers.

Participation in the protests were low, with only around 50 cars gathered in Dora, north of Beirut, with taxi drivers raising the Lebanese flag and hooting their vehicles’ horns.

One of the drivers issued calls over a microphone for other cab owners to join the strike.

A statement issued by the taxi drivers’ union was also distributed in Dora, encouraging taxi drivers to join the strike.

“Today is your day to claim your rights,” said the statement, adding that the strike might be followed up by other protest movements until the taxi drivers’ demands are met.

In Eklim al-Kharroub, southeast of Beirut, taxi drivers responded to the union’s call, with a large number of taxi drivers gathered in a parking in Wadi al-Zineh area on the coastal road, claiming their demands, the National News Agency reported.

The NNA said that the drivers issued a statement demanding to have “their basic rights, just like other groups of the Lebanese society.”

Earlier this week, Lebanon’s taxi drivers union issued a statement calling for a strike following an unsuccessful meeting with Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi to set a ceiling for the price of gasoline.

The statement reiterated the association’s demand for a LL25,000 ceiling on 20 liters for gasoline and LL20,000 on diesel.

The union also demanded a crackdown on drivers with forged transportation license plates.

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