Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Asks City To Follow Through On Promises

CHICAGO – Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31 representatives were proud to stand up and demand fairer rules as part of the City of Chicago’s Taxi Driver Fairness Ordinance Task Force. The Task Force was part of a package of reforms Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31 pushed the city to enact in 2014 to relieve the economic burdens imposed on drivers.

Over the last five months, Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31 Task Force members, representing the nearly 4,000 Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31 drivers, put in hundreds of hours of work preparing concrete recommendations that the city could adopt immediately to remedy the unequal and unjust way cab drivers are treated in Chicago.

"While we are encouraged that the city has pledged to take action on some serious issues we raised at the Task Force, we are very concerned about the city's failure to follow through on its earlier promise to lower credit card fees for drivers," said Tracey Abman, Associate Director, Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31.

"Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31members highlighted several areas in dire need of reform, specifically eliminating the vague and unfair offense of 'discourteous conduct', limiting the city's power to deny license renewals due to unproven allegations against a driver and cracking down on illegal ride share operations at the airports" continued Abman, "while we are glad these reforms were included in the task force recommendations we urge the city to take concrete action now."

In December, the city committed in its press statements that the 5% credit card processing fee that costs drivers thousands of dollars in lost income would be reduced to 3% through rule change. Commissioner Maria Guerra Lapacek reiterated the City’s commitment at a City Council Hearing in December, 2014.

Nearly 6 months later, despite hundreds of letters in support of the measure directed to BACP, there is still no action on reducing credit card fees and the overwhelming burden drivers face just to conduct business.

"This commitment by Commissioner Lapacek must be turned into action" said Abman.

"These recommendations, when fleshed out and enacted, would make a significant difference in the lives of Chicago’s licensed professional cab drivers, but drivers need relief now" continued Abman.