Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Local 2500 Members Join “Global Day of Action Against Uber”

CHICAGO – Joining cab drivers across the world, hundreds of Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Local 2500 members led a protest at City Hall on Wednesday, to highlight new data showing that Chicago is losing desperately needed revenue by not regulating services like UberX and Lyft like the taxi services they are.

Currently, Uber is only subject to a $10,000 licensing fee, while providing 25 million rides, whereas taxi drivers and taxi medallion owners pay millions of dollars to provide the exact same service.

“The mayor is talking about cutting services and raising taxes and fees, but he’s missing a major opportunity to generate upwards of $65 million in new revenue, by regulating services like UberX and Lyft, like the taxi services they are” said Cheryl Miller, a veteran Chicago cab driver, and Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Local 2500 member.

“I paid to take the chauffeur license exam, I pay a fee every year to renew my license, and I pay fines if I violate any of the thousands of chauffeur code rules.  We would like to know why the city is allowing Uber and Lyft to do the same work and provide the same exact services, without paying any of the same fees to the city, or following any of the same rules” continued Miller.

Edelia Correa, a Communities United Leader, and mother of two children in Chicago Public Schools, brought with her the signatures of over 100 local businesses and community organizations who signed a letter to Mayor Emanuel, asking him to recognize the vital work cab drivers do for Chicago’s communities.

“The Mayor is proposing property tax increases on everyone, but it’s low-income families who will feel the impact the worst.  Politicians talk about ‘shared sacrifice’ but Uber isn’t sharing, they’re getting a free ride instead of paying their fair share” said Correa.

Godwin Anetekhai, an owner/operator and member of Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Local 2500, painted a similar picture.

“My taxi is my small business. As an owner, my cab is inspected twice a year, I have to replace it every four years, and I pay nearly $1,000 a year in ground transportation tax, and another $600 to renew my medallion.  Uber is providing the same services I do, yet they don’t contribute to the city the way I do. It’s unfair, and it’s denying our city the revenue it needs” said Anetekhai.

“While cab drivers like Cheryl and I are working longer hours to bring home the same amount, and paying thousands of dollars per year to the city, a $50 billion corporation is skating by, paying only $10,000” added Anetekhai.