SEOUL, Dec. 12 (Korea Bizwire) — The taxi industry announced yesterday that 100,000 taxi drivers are expected to flock to the National Assembly in Yeouido on Thursday of next week to voice opposition to the ride-sharing service launched by Kakao Mobility Corp., spurred by the self-immolation of a taxi driver surnamed Choi on December 10.
Kang Shin-Pyo, the chairman of the Korean Federation of Taxi Worker’s Unions, claims that 100,000 drivers will strike against the launch of Kakao’s new service. “Korea will never change unless the government, an evil of long standing, changes,” said Kang.
It has also been reported that drivers are considering boycotting the Kakao T cab-hailing app. The plan is to have taxi drivers nationwide forgo the use of the Kakao T app as part of pressure tactics targeting Kakao Mobility.
Taxi industry associations have already held protests in October and November.
In an emergency meeting, the four principal taxi industry associations urged the government to take measures against the launch of Kakao’s ride-sharing app.
It has also been reported that drivers have already planned to further expand their protest in Yeouido after Choi’s self-immolation earlier in the week.
A memorial altar will be established near the sit-in protest in Seoul’s Yeouido neighborhood, where National Assembly is located.
Choi, a taxi driver on his 50’s, set himself on fire in front of the National Assembly on Monday, leaving a behind a suicide note that railed against the launch of the Kakao ride-sharing service.
Though Choi was rushed to the hospital by first responders, he succumbed to his injuries later in the day.
In his suicide note, he proclaimed, “All taxi drivers must burn up to live in a world where laborers are paid a living wage,” while exhorting fellow drivers to fight against the founders of the ride-sharing app.
The family of the deceased wished to have a private funeral, but are now in great pain because Choi, in his will, asked that his funeral be held in front of the headquarters of Kakao Corp.
Meanwhile, the police have decided to conduct an autopsy on Choi’s body.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)