HAMILTON, ON, June 2, 2011 /CNW/ - History was made today as the Ontario
Taxi Workers Union (OTWU) grew to more than 1,000 members, becoming the
largest union of cab drivers in Ontario.
OTWU welcomed over 500 new members from Blue Line after the Ontario
Labour Relations Board (OLRB) ordered the results of a recent election
be released. Arguments from Blue Line lawyers had previously delayed
the ballot count.
"We are very happy with today's result. Hamilton taxi drivers are
standing united in one organization. Together we are stronger" says
OTWU President Ejaz Butt. "This sends a clear message to Blue Line and
Hamilton Cab that their time and money will be best spent working with
drivers to bargain a fair agreement."
Interim OTWU Vice-President and Blue Line driver Faheem Shahid says his
happiness with OTWU's recent growth is only dampened by his
disappointment with Blue Line, who continue to try and block his
colleagues' efforts to create a better Hamilton taxi system for both
drivers and customers. "It's been a long year. Blue Line has worked
against our efforts to organize, even firing drivers who are supportive
of the union. All we want is an opportunity to negotiate, and speak our
minds about how we can make Hamilton's taxi system fairer for drivers
and better for passengers. We have good ideas that are in
everyone's best interests, and we think they should be heard."
Despite Blue Line's concerns about unionization, drivers are hopeful
that OTWU's growth will make for more productive discussions. "With
OTWU being over 500 drivers stronger, our voice has become louder,"
says General Secretary Jamie McCarthy. "That means Blue Line will
eventually have to sit down with the drivers that make their company
run. It's good to know we'll be taken seriously, and that
we'll finally have a way to fight for fairness, dignity and respect on
SOURCE Ontario Taxi Workers Union
For further information:
Media Contact: Jacob Leibovitch, OTWU Executive Director, 647-885-8294