MontCo Taxi Drivers To Join National Taxi Workers Alliance

Friday, August 1, 2014

MontCo Taxi Drivers To Join National Taxi Workers Alliance(Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO)The newly-formed Montgomery County Professional Drivers Union (MCPDU) on Thursday received an Organizing Charter from the National Taxi Workers Alliance (NTWA). “You’ve taken a city where drivers have been invisible” and exposed their exploitation, said NTWA President Bhairavi Desai. “The overwhelming majority of workers in this industry are immigrants, exploited and disenfranchised, told that you have no rights, but that changes now, not just in Montgomery County but throughout this region, which is such a critical place because it’s the capital.” Indeed, MCPDU President Peter Ibik, wearing his trademark cowboy hat, said that “We have already noticed a bigchange” in how Montgomery taxi drivers are being treated, “because of (the AFL-CIO and NTWA) being behind us. We’re going to keep moving forward, we’re not going to stop.” Taxi drivers in Montgomery County are labeled as independent contractors. Because of their independent status, the more than 800 licensed taxi drivers in Montgomery County are not protected by any wage and hour laws or worker compensation laws and have no health insurance, disability insurance or any form of retirement benefits. In a related story, dozens of Super Shuttle drivers and their UFCW 1994 supporters demonstrated at Dulles Airport on July 26 in an ongoing organizing campaign at Veolia. photos: (top right) MCPDU members in front of the AFL-CIO; Desai is in blue dress at left, Ibik, in cowboy hat, is next to her; photo by Chris Garlock; (bottom, l-r) UFCW 1994's Nelvin Ransome, Jerry Bonparte (kneeling), Marjorie Brown Nelson, Yvette Cuffie and President Gino Renne at the Dulles airport caravan in support of Super Shuttle workers; photo by Sharon Black

Montgomery County taxi drivers join forces with AFL-CIO union
The Washington Post, by Luz Lazo


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