Steelworkers, cabbies call on Hamilton City Council to re-establish Reform Committee

    HAMILTON, ON, Aug. 8 /CNW/ - The alliance of the United Steelworkers
(USW) and the Cab Drivers Welfare Association of Hamilton are calling on
Hamilton City Council to re-establish the Taxi Reform Committee, which
produced a series of recommendations in 2003 that were never implemented.
    The alliance is seeking an industry that is free of corruption and unfair
fees, an industry that allows drivers to make a decent living.
    Ideally, the reform committee mandate would be to assess the state of the
vehicles, the performance of drivers and their interactions with customers.
    We also call on the committee to investigate who owns the plates and
determine how many multiple plate owners there are in Hamilton, and whether
plate owners and multiple plate owners reside in Hamilton or even in Canada.
    There is evidence that the purchase of a plate in Hamilton from the city
at a cost of $420 can be sold from person to person in the open market for
more than $200,000. A reform committee must question whether the intent of
issuing plates is to regulate the number of taxis on the street or is it to
allow individuals to enrich themselves at the expense of taxpayers, customers
and drivers.
    Why are lease rates for taxi drivers between $12,000 and $15,000 a year
when a plate cost only $420 a year? The USW/cab drivers alliance believes the
City of Hamilton must become proactive in the taxi industry to avoid the
outcome that drivers will be reduced to poverty and the cab industry will be
severely crippled.
    We also want a reform committee to examine the treatment of disabled
citizens and their access to affordable taxi service.
    In addition, we want the committee to examine the "Grandpa List" - those
people who have been waiting for the issuing of new plates from the City of
    The committee should be made up of all stakeholders, including the
drivers, who are represented by The Cab Drivers Welfare Association of

For further information:

For further information: Ejaz Butt, President Cab Drivers Welfare
Association of Hamilton, (905) 317-0319; Peter Leibovitch, (USW
Representative), (416) 243-8792, (416) 278-4123

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