TORONTO, July 14, 2014 /CNW/ - Wheelchair-accessible taxi operators mark their ninth day off the job today as they refuse to sign new contracts imposing substantial pay cuts.
The operators stand to lose up to $1,500 per month in wages due to a cost-cutting plan from the Toronto Transit Commission. The TTC wants to save money on the backs of vulnerable taxi operators, who are being told to absorb a cut of 36 cents per kilometer in the rates they are paid.
After demonstrating at city hall for several days, the operators are taking their protest to TTC offices today.
"We're inviting the media to come with us on a mini road trip," said Ahmed Ali, a wheelchair accessible operator and member of the iTaxiworkers Association.
"We're hoping to raise awareness of this issue so it can be resolved as soon as possible," Ali said. "We want to get back to work to serve our valued customer base – people with disabilities."
The Wheelchair accessible operators begin their demonstrations today at 10 a.m. at City Hall, outside the main entrance. At noon they will stage a public protest at the TTC's main offices at 1900 Yonge St., then they will proceed to the TTC's WheelTrans offices at 580 Commissioners St. at 2 p.m.
Wheelchair accessible operators are not employees of the city or TTC. They are contractors who are vulnerable to the TTC's unfair restructuring of their contracts.
"Wheelchair accessible operators should be paid reasonably for the extremely important work they do in this city," said Sajid Mughal, iTaxiworkers Association President. "Imposing a wage reduction, when costs for wheelchair accessible operators are constantly rising, is incomprehensible."
SOURCE: iTAXIWORKERS Association
For further information: Sajid Mughal, President, iTaxiworkers Association, 647-836-2930; Ahmed Ali, Wheelchair-licensed operator, 416-891-7612