Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Rally Troops at AFL-CIO NextUP Summit

With more than 1,000 young union members from across the nation in town, Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Council 31 member Ezz Abdelmagid was proud to lead activists in a virtual action aimed at educating them and enlisting their support. The drivers are working to reform the separate and unequal system Mayor Rahm Emanuel created when his administration licensed so-called “rideshare” operators Uber and Lyft.

“Cab drivers in Chicago are the motor that keep our great city moving throughout the year. Yet despite being an integral part of Chicago’s transportation system, we’re treated like second-class citizens,” said Abdelmagid.

“We attend school to become a cab driver. We undergo drug and physical tests. Our cabs are highly visible and under constant scrutiny by city inspectors and the police department. Yet when Mayor Emanuel and the city gave Uber a license to operate, they did so based on a promise, creating a two-tiered system,” continued Abdelmagid.

Abdelmagid led attendees in a virtual action, encouraging young union members to take a “selfie” with their cab drivers and to send that photo in a tweet or post it to Facebook during their time in Chicago.

Abdelmagid also asked those in the audience to send tweets to Mayor Emanuel, Alderman Emma Mitts and Alderman Anthony Beale, the chairs of the Licensing and Transportation Committees respectively, asking them to begin to fix the two-tiered system by holding a hearing so the public could comment.

“We’re asking these leaders to take a stand, to protect public safety, to protect our livelihoods, to take action on rideshare today. Send a tweet right now using the hashtag Cab Drivers United and send a message to the city that we won’t stand idly by while a billion-dollar corporation destroys our livelihood,” Abdelmagid said.