Teamster taxi and flat-rate drivers gather on the roof of the Sea-Tac Airport parking garage before Tuesday's protest.
More than 200 taxi and flat-rate drivers raised signs of protest at Sea-Tac Airport on Tuesday in a massive effort to stop airport taxi contractor Eastside for Hire from forcing drivers to pay to work. Drivers chanted “stop the pay-to-work scam” and “Eastside unfair” as they marched for nearly an hour at the taxi dispatch line on the third floor of the airport parking garage.
Last Thursday, Eastside sent drivers a notice informing them that they had until 5 P.M. on Tuesday to sign an intent to pay $9,000 or forfeit their right to access the airport. The drivers of 405 taxicabs and flat-rate vehicles in the airport fleet rely on fares from the airport as their primary source of income. Losing the right to access the airport would result in a devastating loss of business for drivers.
“Nobody has the money to pay that sum,” said taxi driver Saranjeet Shaglani. “It’s very expensive to work here. We can hardly pay the bills. So we all gathered together to get justice.”
"We all gathered together to get justice."
Drivers have already paid thousands of dollars for the right to service customers at the airport. When the Port of Seattle awarded Eastside the taxi contract in 2016, drivers paid Eastside a minimum of $4,600 per driver to join the fleet.
Drivers also paid to convert their vehicles with Eastside’s branding. In addition to the cost of entry, airport drivers are charged a $155 weekly dispatch fee and a $6 per trip fee. Drivers say the fees at the airport are so high that many earn less than minimum wage after expenses.Read more
Drivers celebrating the passing of the historic Seattle ordinance allowing them to form a union.
Taxi, Uber and Lyft Drivers in Seattle scored a major victory this week when a federal judge threw out a lawsuit challenging the Seattle ordinance giving drivers collective bargaining rights.
The judge ruled that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce could not stop the implementation of the ordinance that was unanimously passed by the City Council.
Taxi and app-based drivers have now cleared a major hurdle toward having a voice over their wages and working conditions.
The drivers who worked for years getting the Seattle law passed celebrated the decision.Read more
Dozens of drivers and labor allies packed a Port of Seattle commission meeting.
Dozens of newly organized Teamster taxi drivers and their Labor allies packed a Port of Seattle Commission meeting to speak about the Port’s recent anti-worker behavior.
Last month the publically owned Port put their profits before the well being of workers when they awarded the SeaTac Airport taxi contract to Eastside For Hire. Eastside bid more than twice the current $18 million being paid by Yellowcab to service the airport. This inflated cost will come directly out of drivers’ pockets.
At their annual meeting, taxicab operators in the Western Washington Taxi Cab Operators Association (WWTCOA) voted unanimously to join Teamsters Local 117 as full-fledged union members.
The vote took place during the annual meeting on July 27 at the Teamsters Hall in Tukwila.
In the packed Teamsters Hall conference room, drivers significantly boosted their ability to organize and build power. For the first time these drivers have a path to bargain a contract with dispatch companies.
This vote is historic on multiple levels. It marks the first time that taxi cab operators in the United States have been able to join a union as independent contractors.
Gaining full union membership gives these workers new tools to improve their wages and working conditions.Read more