This is something that is definitely going to effect US soldiers in Korea:
Servicemembers throughout much of areas I and II may have found little or no on-base taxi service Saturday after Area I drivers went on strike Friday evening, dispatchers confirmed. Area II drivers said they planned to follow on Saturday.
Area I officials said Arirang Taxi Co. drivers went on strike after the Army and Air Force Exchange Service raised taxi fares but driversÂ¿ wages did not increase.
Citing rising fuel costs and the falling U.S. dollar, AAFES increased the starting fare of most on-base taxis in South Korea by 50 cents Â¿ a 28 percent jump Â¿ beginning May 1. AAFES officials were unavailable for comment Friday night.
How does a increase in the fare because of fuel prices have anything to do with the taxi drivers making more money?Â I find it hard to sympathize with the AAFES taxi drivers on this issue because they make a lot more money than the taxi drivers off post.Â The article made no mention about the amount of money the AAFES taxi drivers make from tips which is a considerable amount of the their take home pay.
Once while riding in a off post cab in Uijongbu the taxi driver began speaking to me in English.Â I asked him how he learned to speak English and he told me he once was a AAFES taxi driver, but got fired because for years he was taking fuel used for AAFES cabs for his own personal use and finally was caught.Â He said he is paying for it now because when he worked for AAFES he was working 8 hour shifts, 5 days a week, but now as a off post taxi driver to make the same amount of money as an AAFES taxi driver he has to work 6 days a week and 10 hours a day, sometimes longer.Â He said that tips were a big part of everyday take home pay because US soldiers are generally much more generous compared to the Korean public when giving tips.Â He continued by saying that in the cab driver community an AAFES taxi job is the most sought after job for a cabbie because of the work hours and pay.Â Â He really regretted losing his job over his dishonesty, but everyone else was doing what he was doing so he thought it was okay until AAFES cracked down on it and he lost his job.
We’ll see how this plays out, but if AAFES wants to replace the current strikers they shouldn’t have to much of a problem doing so.