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NATO Supply Drivers Stage Protest In Bishkek

NATO supply drivers voiced their displeasure at a loss of work in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek.
BISHKEK -- Some 30 drivers of trucks that transport goods from the Manas Transit Center near Bishkek to Afghanistan have demonstrated in the Kyrgyz capital.

On March 25, the protesters said their work has been taken over by some transport companies that are owned or controlled by senior Kyrgyz government officials.

They did not name the officials, but described them as "big sharks."

They said firms associated with those officials began operating last autumn -- leaving many ordinary drivers without work.

The drivers also demanded salary increases.

Kyrgyzstan's Aidoochu (Driver) movement -- a group that unites more than 100 drivers who transport NATO supplies from Bishkek into Afghanistan -- has urged Kyrgyzstan's government to intervene.

Members of the driver's movement have been on strike since March 20.