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Phuket taxi bullying continues



Phuket taxi bullying continues | Thaiger

PHUKET: Police today were called in to resolve yet another taxi dispute, this time reports of drivers using their vehicles to block the entrance to the renowned Evason Phuket & Bon Island resort.

About 20 “black plate” drivers massed at the entrance to the Evason – one of the very first resorts on the island – at about 10am, reported Chalong Police Deputy Superintendent Narong Laksanawimon.

“Apparently a staff member working at the hotel front desk called a local taxi to pick up guests from the hotel.

“The ‘black plate’ taxi drivers who have an agreement with the hotel were not satisfied with the situation so they formed a blockade,” explained Lt Col Narong.

A “black plate” taxi is the local nickname given to vehicles operated as taxis but not registered with the Land Transportation Office as commercial passenger vehicles.

The mob action prompted a two-hour meeting among taxi representatives, the hotel general manager and a Thai manager at the hotel to resolve the issue with Chalong Police officers present, said Lt Col Narong.

In addition to the front desk staffer calling in a local taxi driver – instead of using one of the black plate drivers – the taxi drivers complained of not having any parking spaces on hotel grounds.

“The hotel representative said that the hotel will reserve two parking spaces in the hotel parking area for taxi drivers to wait for guests and asked for the taxi drivers to dress appropriately.

“On the second issue, the hotel representative said that all staff had been informed to not call any other local taxi drivers or they will be fired, and that the hotel will be strict on this,” he said.

Satisfied with the newly “negotiated” terms of business, the taxi drivers ceased their blockade.

However, when asked by the Phuket Gazette, a representative of the resort downplayed the incident.

“It was a misunderstanding. They were about to block the road, but we had a talk and the issue was resolved,” the representative said.

“There was no such blockade,” the representative added, declining to comment any further on the reported conditions of the settlement.

Today’s blockade follows a gang of taxi drivers attacking a local tour driver for picking up guests at the Cape Sienna resort in Kamala and Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Pekad Tantipong last month laying down the law that no more blockades will be tolerated by police.

The award-winning Evason has long been recognized by international travel giants, including Conde Naste Traveler magazine, as one of Phuket’s best resorts.


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