How Bad Does the Taxi Industry Need to Get Before Miller Responds to Drivers’ Concerns
How Bad Does the Taxi Industry Need to Get Before Miller Responds to Drivers’ Concerns:
“Taxi Stakeholders Meeting” Seen as Latest Insult
On Monday, January 30th, stakeholders in the Taxi Industry will meet to make policy recommendations to the City of Toronto. Sounds good. Except the City hasn’t bothered to invite most drivers. Even if Drivers were encouraged to attend they’d be hard –pressed to participate in a meeting scheduled to begin during morning rush hour and last all day. According to the Toronto Coalition of Concerned Taxi Drivers, given the grossly exploitative nature of the job all drivers have serious grievances, but they can hardly afford to miss a day’s work--let alone be forced to pay for their lease while attending.
The senseless killing of cabbie Tahir Khan once again highlights the fact that taxi driving is dangerous and grossly underpaid. Though Mr. Khan worked 6 days a week, he was forced to share a one bedroom apartment as he scrambled to save enough money to bring his family to Canada.
Mr. Khan is not the only driver to be killed on duty in the recent past: Morteza Khorassani was murdered in Toronto this fall by thieves. On Christmas day in Halifax, another cabbie was robbed and killed, and the month before that a Manitoba taxi driver was murdered in the same circumstances. A study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine found that in North Carolina taxi driving is the number one most likely occupation in which workers are killed on duty. Robberies are also an all too common occurrence.
The Toronto Coalition of Concerned Taxi Drivers calls upon City officials to act in good faith and enter into genuine negotiations to improve the safety and economic survival of local taxi drivers.
for more information contact:
Owen Leach, Independent Taxi Driver: (416)587-6930
Ahmet Gulkan, Eagles Taxi: (416) 271-8425
** The Toronto Coalition of Concerned Taxi Drivers is made up of progressive drivers, companies, Taxipost newspaper, and the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty. **