Thursday, October 24, 2013

Washington, DC, cab drivers forming association with Teamsters

The Teamsters are using a new approach to give taxicab drivers a voice on the job: They're forming an association with independent drivers in Washington, D.C. A Teamster taxi driver association in Washington state  that formed recently is working well.

The new methods and structures used by organized labor have a new name: alt-labor. When unions help improve conditions for low-wage workers through sudden one-day strikes at retail stores, fast-food restaurants, warehouses and the ports, that's alt-labor.

Today, the Teamsters announced the formation of the Washington, D.C., Taxi Operators Association. Here's what the press statement said:
Cab drivers in the nation’s capital are joining together with the Teamsters Union to announce the formation of the new Washington, D.C. Taxi Operators Association. 
The association is being created to give the more than 6,000 taxi cab drivers in Washington, who are independent owner- or lease-operators, a united, collective voice for positive change in their industry. The association will be affiliated with Teamsters Local 922 in Washington. The first meeting will be held Oct. 29. 
“For far too long, taxi drivers in Washington, D.C., have not had a strong voice to provide input about regulations and policies that affect their livelihoods,” said Ferline Buie, President of Teamsters Local 922. “Their new association with Teamsters Local 922 will give them the strong voice they need and deserve.” 
The drivers approached the Teamsters because they need to have input on regulations before they take effect. They want a stronger voice and more representation on the D.C. Taxi Cab Commission. 
“This is about fairness for more than 6,000 drivers and their families, and it’s about improving the taxi cab service in our nation’s capital,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. 
You can follow what they're doing on the Washington DC Taxi Cab Association Facebook page.