BEIRUT, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Lebanon's public transportation drivers threatened Thursday to block the airport road next week if Lebanese authorities do not meet their demands, local media reported Thursday.
"Our escalatory measures are not over and our next move will be painful," said Bassam Tleis, head of the Union of Public Drivers, quoted by the National News Agency.
Tleis' remarks came during a sit-in staged Thursday by public drivers in front of the Port of Beirut.
Tleis previously called upon the government to take control of the automotive inspection centers and to keep current employees while protecting their rights.
Unions representing public transportation drivers have on many occasions voiced their opposition to the privatization of the automotive inspection centers and the increase in the cost of automotive inspections.
Lebanese company Autospect was awarded over two years ago a contract to manage the centers in collaboration with Swiss logistics company SGS, saying they would offer new and improved services.
Automobile inspection fees would increase 65 percent, from 20 U.S. dollars to 33 dollars.
The drivers' demands also included the need by the government to track cars with forged plates in addition to stopping foreign drivers from operating and competing with local drivers.
They also urged for putting an end to the chaotic increase in fuel prices and drafting a local transportation strategy to solve traffic problems.
Tleis said that representatives of the public transport sector will meet next Tuesday to agree on the next measures that will be taken for them to reach their goals.
"We are over with the negotiations phase, we just want officials to implement what we have agreed on before," he said.