July 5, 2010
Charlotte Cabbies Protest Work Conditions
Drivers want independence from cab companies
Cab drivers in Charlotte are protesting city laws requiring all cab operators to be registered with a local cab company. On June 18, dozens gathered outside city hall to draw attention to their fight for independence. Teamsters Local 71 organized the protest to highlight the need to change the way the cab business does business in the Queen City.
The cab drivers want Charlotte to adopt rules similar to other large cities, like New York, where cab drivers are independently self-employed.
Current law is a sweet-heart deal for cab companies, which get to take a large cut of what drivers earn just to act as a registrar. Instead of lining the pockets of company owners, protesting drivers told local NBC affiliate WCNC / NewsChannel 36 they need that money for their families:
“I have three kids. I have so many bills to pay, and I have to pay, every month, more than $1,300 to them,” said cab driver Abdul Cali. “They don’t provide me anything and my job is not secure enough.”
Watch video coverage of the protest:
City to study the issue
Following the protest, the cab drivers took their message into the City Council meeting, where the Council took the first steps toward changing the law by assigning their issues to a committee. You can view the Council proceedings online; the cab drivers’ presentation begins at about 44′ 45″.