August 13, 2014 some 200 cabdrivers attended the first general meeting of the San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance (SFTWA) at the Verdi Club on Mariposa St. Leaders of various taxi groups and individuals, including the San Francisco Cab Drivers Association and the United Taxicab Workers got together and decided to join forces with the National Taxi Workers Alliance (NTWA), an AFL-CIO affiliate launched by the 18,000+ member New York Taxi Workers Alliance. The NTWA also includes affiliate member organizations in Philadelphia, Austin, TX and Montgomery County, Maryland.
Less than a month later on September 9, over 400 cabdrivers converged at the Plumber Union Hall on Market St, where San Francisco Labor Council President Tim Paulson told the crowd it was the most people he’d seen in that hall for over five years. Biju Mathew, co-founder of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance and the NTWA, gave a little history, told some stories and explained some things we can accomplish if we work together. The mic was then opened for comment and everyone who wanted, spoke for up to 2 minutes. There was lots of good Indian food too!
The San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance already has hundreds of members and is growing strong. Legitimately permitted and insured taxi drivers have been besieged by venture capital backed bandit cab operations that shirk the law and disregard public safety. By deceitfully avoiding laws and regulations their competitors must follow, one of these bandit operators has grown to be one of the largest companies in the world in less time than the CPUC has taken to finish their “rulemaking” proceeding (R.12-12-011). Individually, we are low paid workers and cannot fight this unfair competition (thievery) by ourselves. Together however, we stand, with truth and facts on our side.
Categories: Illegal Taxis