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PORTSIDE  May 2012, Week 3

PORTSIDE May 2012, Week 3

Subject:

New York Cabbies Drive for Dignity

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Tue, 15 May 2012 20:44:28 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (65 lines)

New York Cabbies Drive for Dignity

By Mike Hall 
AFL-CIO News 
May 15, 2012

http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Organizing-Bargaining/New-York-Cabbies-Drive-for-Dignity

The 45,000 taxi cabs in New York City have been described as
the seventh-largest transportation system in the United
States-and at the AFL-CIO Innovators webpage, writer Robert
Struckman notes:

If you ask a driver, there's a good chance he or she will
 tell you, "I'm a member of the National Taxi Workers
 Alliance (NTWA)."

Forming the alliance has been a 15-year struggle. The
drivers' biggest obstacle is their classification as
independent contractors-a status that excludes them from
coverage by most U.S. labor laws. That means their union
cannot appeal to the National Labor Relations Board for
recognition of its right to represent workers. But, writes
Struckman:

these supposedly unorganizable workers refused to let anybody
 tell them whether they could be a union or not. They
 organized a union themselves....They are part of a new wave
 of workers who are organizing against the odds. Carwash
 workers, domestic workers and others who are not ordinarily
 thought of as union members are discovering and using the
 power of collective action to improve their lives and work.

Last year, the NTWA became the latest affiliate union of the
AFL-CIO, and the first group to receive an organizing
committee charter in a half-century.

Click here to read more about the workers' long fight for
their rights and their continuing battle with employers from
whom they must not only lease their cabs-at outrageous
prices-but also their taxi medallions that permit the drivers
to operate in the city. They also must pay for their own gas,
car repairs, credit card processing fees and other charges to
the garage owners.
 
http://www.aflcio.org/Features/Innovators/Taxi!-Taxi!-Cabbies-Form-Unlikely-Union

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