Cab Drivers Decry Rideshare Abuses

CHICAGO – Frustrated by the city’s failure to properly address serious issues surrounding the so-called “rideshare” industry, more than 300 members of Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31 braved sub-zero wind chills to protest outside City Hall.

“After two years of operating illegally in Chicago, the city’s response has been to allow Uber, a politically connected, billion-dollar corporation, to operate based on a ‘promise.’ This is unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” said Cheryl Miller, a Chicago cab driver and Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31 member.

“Every mom and pop restaurant in Chicago is licensed and inspected by the city, their employees are protected with workers’ compensation and the public is protected by requirements to maintain commercial liability insurance. Yet Uber is allowed to evade most forms of oversight that every other business in the city is subject to,” Miller added.

“Driving a cab used to be a pathway to the middle class.  I support my family, my children and my community,” said Ismail Onay, Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31 member and longtime Chicago cab driver.  “Yet while we pay an incredibly high price to meet the standards the city sets, the city is allowing tens of thousands of nonprofessional drivers to operate the same as a cab with none of the costs and none of the accountability.”

Miller vowed that the union would not rest until the public and drivers are protected. “It’s unbelievable that the city has failed so miserably to act to stand up for its own residents, workers and visitors,” she said.