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'United To Win'
United To Win
The Quarterly Newsletter of the United Taxicab
Sponsored by Communications Workers of America, Local 9410
Volume XIX Number 4 Fall 2006
Gate Cap and Meter
Despite Absence of Health Plan
In late 2002, the Board of Supervisors raised
the city's cap on gates, increased meter rates and promised
cab drivers a health care plan. To put some teeth in the promise,
the board provided that if the health plan was not enacted by
Jan. 1, 2004, the cap would go down from $91.50 to $85. The
deadline was later extended to Sept. 1, 2004.
Although the deadline for the health plan was not met, cab companies
never reduced their gates to comply with the lower cap. Now
the Board has raised the cap back up to $91.50 and tacked 25
cents onto the flag drop, while drivers are still awaiting the
The gate cap increase provides an unfair reward to cab companies
that have been breaking the law. Any drop...
here to read this article
SUES CAB COMPANIES
for Gate Overcharge
suing cab companies for gate overcharges talk to a reporter
outside City Hall at a Nov. 2 press conference announcing the
filing of the class-action lawsuit. L. to r.: Dave Barlow, Arrow
Cab; Marshall Childs, Yellow Cab; Dave Schneider, Luxor Cab.
here to see more pictures
here to read the pressrelease
Taxicab Workers and three cab drivers have filed a lawsuit
three taxi companies for violations of the city's gate cap.
The cap is the maximum amount taxi companies can charge cab
drivers for leasing taxis by the shift.
The class-action lawsuit was filed Nov. 2 in Superior Court
against Yellow Cab, Luxor Cab and Speck Cab Co. Speck operates
Arrow Cab, and ran Veterans Cab until National Cab took over
its management in January.
The suit was brought on behalf of all drivers who paid gates
to those companies since Sept. 1, 2004.
According to the City Attorney, the gate cap during the time
period in question was $85 for a shift of 10 hours or longer.
But major cab companies have been charging $91.50 or more,
with Yellow and Luxor charging $92.50. Two reports of the
City Controller confirm that drivers have been overcharged.
Individual plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Marshall Childs,
Yellow Cab; David Schneider, Luxor Cab; and David Barlow,
Speck Cab Co. Representing plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Oakland
attorney Jonathan Siegel of Siegel &LeWitter and San Francisco
attorney Matthew Kumin. click
here to read this article
Care Working Group Begins Meetings
Taxi Commission has appointed a Health Care Working Group to
make recommendations to the commission on a taxi driver health
care plan. The commission is expected to propose a plan to the
Board of Supervisors by April 1.
At its first meeting on Oct. 17, the group elected Commissioner
Tom Oneto as its chair. In addition to Oneto, voting members
of the working group are...
here to read this article
Help or Advice? Call UTW
the maximum gate
your company can charge you?
Are you required to post a security deposit?
Can you be charged back gates if you miss a shift?
Are you entitled to workers' compensation
if you have a job-related injury or illness?
If you lose your job,
are you entitled to unemployment benefits?
What if you're assigned an unsafe cab?
If you'd like the answer to these or other
work-related questions, we're here to help.
Call us at: 864-8294
Calls for Central Dispatch, Green Taxi Fleet
Mayor Gavin Newsom has challenged the Taxi Commission
and taxi industry to create a centralized dispatch system, and called
for conversion of the entire taxi fleet to environmentally friendly
vehicles by 2011. The ideas were contained in the mayor's State
of the City address, delivered Oct. 26 at Phillip Burton High School.
Newsom devoted considerable time to taxi issues in the speech, discussing
cab service in the context of San Francisco's transit first policy.
“I think we can all agree that the more people who get out
of their cars and use alternative transit - the better this city
is going to be for everyone,” he said. “Another way
of doing this is to have safe, reliable and affordable taxi service.”
The mayor said he had written the Taxi Commission asking that all...
here to read this article and the full state of the city speach
Use Scare Tactics
on Drivers and Permit Holders Holders
was as predictable as the rising of the sun: cab companies
would take the low road in their quest for higher gates.
Yellow and Luxor each posted identical notices at their garages
leading up to a crucial hearing of the Budget and Finance
Committee of the Board of Supervisors on whether to raise
gates and meter rates. “Because 'gates' have not properly
been adjusted for inflation,” the notices read, both
companies would soon begin phasing out the leasing of taxis
by the shift in favor of monthly leases...
The notice on the left was posted at Yellow and Luxor as
the Board of Supervisors considered whether to raise gates
and meter rates. The letter on the right was sent to permit
holders to get them to come to aBudget and Finance Committee
hearing on the subject. In case you're wondering about “the
lunatics” behind the “mad scheme” of a
health care plan for all cab drivers - that would be UTW.
the Taxi Commission
Commission meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at
6:30 p.m., in room 400 of City Hall. Special meetings may be scheduled
as needed. The following is a summary of significant commission
proceedings at recent meetings:
here to read this article
The SHORT LINE
File under “What else is new?”: A report on Los Angeles
cab drivers by two UCLA researchers has concluded that drivers work
too many hours for too little pay. The study, entitled “Driving
Poor,” says a typical driver makes $8.39 an hour and drives
72 hours a week on average. Sixty-one percent have no health insurance.
Extreme stress and chronic back and leg injuries are common. The
study found that drivers lacked worker protections and were exploited
by co-ops although they were nominally co-op members. It also reported
that drivers were rigging meters, which one city official attributed
to high gas prices. Law professor Gary Blasi, one of the study's
co-authors, referred to cab drivers as “something like sharecroppers
on wheels.” Reported in the Los Angeles Times, 9/25/06
Pick-ups, SFO January-September 2000-2006
drivers who observe problems or have disputes with dispatchers inside
the garage or at the terminal stands at San Francisco International
Airport should contact the on-duty shift manager at one of the following
(650) 821-2700 or (650) 821-2704
Problems or complaints can also be addressed to Landside Operations:
you witness limousines acting as taxis or out-of-town
or unlicensed cabs picking up in San Francisco, please report the
following to the Taxi Detail: 1) date and time; 2) location; 3)
license plate; 4) if a limo, the TCP number; 4) if an out-of-town
cab, the company and cab number; 5) any phone number on the vehicle.
The number to call 24 hours a day is 553-1447.
for Cab Drivers
a test of how much you know about who's been moving
and shaking the taxi industry for the past number of years:
cab drivers' group was the moving force behind the 1998 city ordinance
that reduced gates and made companies seek city approval to raise
What group has been instrumental in the defeat
of four taxi ballot measures devised by cab companies and permit
holders to line their pockets at drivers' expense?
What group led the successful fight to stop the
issuance of 500 additional permits in 2001, saving the taxi industry
from certain collapse?
What group convinced city commissions to vote
against Yellow's and Luxor's corporate taxi permits, leading to
the return of 32 permits and their re-issuance to permit applicants?
What group sponsored the tough new state law
increasing fines for illegal limousine operations and allowing
the impoundment of lawbreakers' vehicles?
What group proposed and won initial approval
of a cab driver health plan that is now in the works?
What group is at every Taxi Commission meeting,
fighting for drivers' rights and working to protect their interests?
If your answer to all
these questions is
United Taxicab Workers, you scored 100%!
Unite to Win!
UNITED TO WIN is
published quarterly by United Taxicab Workers.
We welcome the submission of letters, photos and articles
to be considered for publication.
Printer: Graffik Natwicks, 760 Bryant St., S.F. 94107.
Editor: Mark Gruberg