Desde Dentro de Cuba.
Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org
Havana, October 5, 1998, Cuba Free Press.
HORSE-CART DRIVERS STRIKE, WIN SOME CONCESSIONS By Ricardo González Alfonso
HAVANA Some 240 horse-cart or coach (cochero) drivers in Manzanillo quit work one recent Friday in a mass protest after the government ordered them to stay off all main streets in their city of Manzanillo.
The next day they were back at work carrying passengers after reaching an agreement with the city officials to bargain on Sunday.
Some observers said this was nothing more than a "successful strike." The government officials and agents of the Communist Party of Cuba who took part in the negotiations on the Sunday after the work stoppage backed off their ban on driving on all main streets. And the drivers accepted the proposal that they stay off Merchn and Martí streets.
During the bargaining, which took place in the municipal building of Peoples Power organization, the drivers declared their displeasure with the "excessive" fines levied against them by government inspectors. They brought to light the case of "Juan Perez," who was made to pay 1,200 pesos merely for having stopped momentarily in a zone marked against such stops for passengers.
The coaches are major factors in local transport and help the economy. Each driver must pay a tax of 100 pesos per month and also pay 150 pesos for an operators license.
Ricardo González Alfonso, Cuba Free Press.
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