Wheeltrans Drivers Fight TTC's Unfair Contract

TORONTO, July 7, 2014 /CNW/ - Wheelchair-accessible taxi drivers are protesting the Toronto Transit Commission's drastically unfair contract that went into force July 6.

WHAT Media conference to oppose TTC's rate cuts for Wheelchair-licensed taxi drivers.
   
WHEN Monday, July 7, 1:00 p.m.
   
WHO Wheelchair-licensed taxi drivers.
   
WHERE Toronto City Hall, lobby, 100 Queen Street

"We are paid by the kilometre and our current rate is $2.86 including HST. The TTC wants to cut our rate by 36 cents, to $2.50," said Ahmed Ali, a spokesperson for the Wheelchair-licensed drivers. 

"While our expenses increase, they want to impose a five-year contract that pays less. That is completely unfair," Ali said. 

"Gas is $1.40 per litre, we're paying more for maintenance and insurance, and our vehicles - which cost $70,000 - need to be replaced every five years. The TTC is starving us at these rates." 

Wheelchair-licensed taxi drivers are not employees of the city or TTC. They are contractors who are vulnerable to the TTC's unfair decisions to restructure their contracts. 

The drivers enjoy their work and appreciate the significant role they play in bringing accessibility to Torontonians with disabilities. They want to be able to do their jobs effectively and with dignity, while earning a reasonable wage. 

Documents obtained by the iTaxiworkers Association indicate the TTC deliberately set the 30-cent rate reduction as a "cost-saving measure," ensuring the most-vulnerable workers in the transit system - taxi drivers - bear the brunt of budget cutting. 

"We stand up for taxi drivers who experience this kind of disrespect and low wages while working so hard to try to make a decent living," said Sajid Mughal, iTaxiworkers Association President. "This unfairness has to stop." 

SOURCE iTaxiworkers Association

For further information:

Sajid Mughal, President, iTaxiworkers Association, 647-836-2930
Ahmed Ali, Wheelchair-licensed driver, 416-891-7612