OTTAWA, Aug. 11, 2015 /CNW/ - Taxi drivers serving passengers at the
Ottawa Airport have been locked out, despite a commitment by the
drivers to continue serving customers during their current dispute with
"We had set up a job action that affected the employer, while continuing
to provide a vital service to the public," said Unifor National
Representative Harry Ghadban.
"The company's actions today are a recipe for chaos at the airport and
do nothing to serve the public."
The cabbies, members of Unifor Local 1688, have been in a legal strike
position since August 1 in a dispute over dispatch fees. The airport
authority is demanding that the taxi company increase the fees
fivefold, which would add to the cost of taking a taxi.
"Taxi drivers are already facing enough challenges, including from
illegal taxi services, without driving customers away with increased
fees," Ghadban said.
"The airport authority is the catalyst for this."
Members of Local 1688 serving the airport stopped paying their dispatch
fees as of August 1, but continued to pick up riders at the airport.
Those fees came due this week. Most rides from the airport are pickups,
This morning, the taxi company said drivers who refuse to pay the fee
can no longer pick up riders and the airport, and disabled the
transponders the drivers use to open gates to the airport.
"The drivers have continued to work and serve the public, the company
has chosen to lock us out," Ghadban said.
"We look forward to returning to the bargaining table to resolve this
issue to the benefit of the drivers and the public."
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing
more than 305,000 members, including more than 2,500 in the Ontario
taxi industry. It was founded Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian
Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union
For further information:
please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at Stuart.Laidlaw@Unifor.org or (cell) 647-385-4054.