Officials at the Port of Seattle have notified airport taxi drivers of a plan to force drivers into debt for unpaid per-trip fees, the collection of which had been suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sea-Tac Airport taxi and flat-rate drivers celebrated an announcement by airport contractor Eastside For Hire that the company would suspend its Pay-To-Work scheme and rescind the planned terminations of 29 vehicles and their drivers from the airport taxi fleet.
The Port of Seattle has stooped to a new low.
The Port has issued $100 citations to taxi drivers who participated in peaceful demonstrations last month over the disgusting state of Port bathrooms for drivers, among other issues.
It was not nearly enough. That was the consensus of dozens of Teamster taxi drivers who testified at yesterday’s Port of Seattle Commission meeting about the Port’s plan to lower the per-trip rate drivers are paying.
Loud voices of taxi drivers resonated across the parking garage at SeaTac Airport. East Side for Hire management stared in bitter frustration at drivers who exercised their right to collectively voice their issues with their dispatch company and the Port of Seattle who contracts with Eastside by suspending work for an hour. It was their second day demonstrating against inhumane working conditions and unjust retaliation by the company.
Port of Seattle commissioners spent the better part of their 2.5 hour special meeting today discussing a range of issues, including airport expansion and biofuel production, but when it came to taking public comment from drivers who are being exploited at the Port’s expense, they cut matters short.