REGINA, Oct. 12, 2017 /CNW/ - Taxi drivers are calling out Regina Cabs management for their refusal to recognize drivers with taxi plates issued through a newly amended city distribution system.
In August of this year, a change was made to a city bylaw to issue taxi plates directly to drivers, instead of brokers who lease them back to drivers for steep monthly fees. This change is a first step to a fairer, equitable system, which provides better service to the public and gives more choice and control to drivers over their working conditions.
Regina Cabs, which in previous years would have been issued the plates directly, is refusing to allow drivers who were awarded plates through the new lottery system to work under their name.
"This move by Regina Cabs is a slap in the face to public, taxi drivers and Regina City Council," says Muhammad Ameer, a driver with Regina Cabs.
"We knew that the brokers weren't happy about the change. In fact, the owner of Regina Cabs lobbied to keep the former, broken system intact," says Leslie McNabb, United Steelworkers Staff Representative.
United Steelworkers represents over 500 taxi drivers in the province of Saskatchewan and has been fighting for better working condition for the industry for over five years.
"Our members have been mistreated, bullied and taken advantage of by the broker companies that charge fees to drivers which in many cases means they don't even make minimum wage per-hour," says Steve Hunt, Western Canada Director for the United Steelworkers. "The taxi industry has run with impunity for many years and it's time for them to be held accountable."
The Regina system is not unique as it was modelled after a similar system in Saskatoon. The Steelworkers are demanding that the City take steps to ensure that all the seasonal taxi plates are in operation for the winter season when our community so desperately needs them.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)