- Politics and Social Issues
Soaring Fuel Prices Fume Motorists in China
China Truckers Protest
Gas prices across the USA and the world anger truckers and motorists. The costs for air travel, shipping by truck are passed to the consumer. In California, average prices per gallon hover around $4.15 or so, the average in the USA is $3.80. In Europe, prices hover around $8 a gallon, can one even imagine this? The oil companies are making hug profits and many feel by mid-June, prices in the US will hover around $5.
In China, truckers, in the hundreds, have protested the rising costs of fuel in Shanghai, impacting the world's No. 2 economy. Last Wednesday, 1000 truckers blocked many of the ports that dock shipping containers. The rigs pick them up and haul them across China. The truckers are protesting not only the fuel costs (China imports much of their fuel) by their low pay. Police are faced with daunting, colossal traffic jams along the highways, as truckers park their rigs in protest. If you think LA traffic is a horror, try the Chinese.
Of course, the news media did not cover any of the internal protests, but using their cell phones, truckers spread the "trucker" revolt and took pictures of the chaos. Police tried to seize them and when they did, crushed them. One trucker who hauled shipping containers noted that he might take home about $30 out of $180 for a day's work to haul containers some 65 miles between Suzhou and Shanghai. For the past decade, the $180 rate has not changed although fuel, port costs, fee costs have. Prices for gas and diesel have risen 100% just in the last year there. A gallon of diesel is now over $3 a gallon in China. In Europe, the same gallon runs around $1.60.
Last Thursday, some 2000 truckers protested and were met with a barrage of police with batons. The traffic mess that ensued was simply monumental gridlock. Police attacked the drivers in their trucks, yanked them out and beat them in some cases. While the truckers vow to continue, there are many drivers willing to accept the pay, as it is better than nothing.