Thursday, May 26, 2011

New York Taxis Workers Alliance Oppose the Sale of 1,500 Taxis Medallions

“1,500 new medallion is an outrageous number. Not even one more is necessary. Fleets might increase their medallion equity and the city might make billions in sales but, all the while, driver incomes will plummet from over competition and more congestion. The 6,000 must fold the existing livery market into the new taxis and the licenses should be issued as zero value medallions distributed via lottery to experienced drivers and returning war veterans. If the economics don't change, the city and industry will just prey upon desperate workers during desperate times.
Those factions were on display yesterday outside City Hall, where hundreds of livery drivers complained that they would be left out in the cold if the mayor's plan for auctioning 1,500 new yellow medallions with 6,000 attached "borough only" medallions succeeded.
It’s not surprising that Fernando Mateo is standing with the big medallion owners and betraying the livery industry he claims to represent. Mateo is simply an opportunist and not worth discussing.” Bhairavi Desai, Executive Director, New York Taxi Workers Alliance, a union of over 15,000 yellow taxicab drivers.

See the two videos bellow: on Video 1 the taxis drivers are marching around City Hall their cry is "Somos Taxitas" (We are Taxis workers). On the second video the executive editor of the Taxi Workers Alliance call Fernando Mateo an opportunist.

video 1 by Rafael Martínez Alequín

video 2 by Rafael Martínez Alequín

2,400 livery car drivers, dispatchers protest against TLC taxi medallion plan

Friday, May 27th 2011

Daily News File Photo

Some 2,400 livery car drivers and dispatchers descended on City Hall Thursday in a raucous protest against a taxi medallion plan they said would ruin them.

Waving signs that said "TLC Will Drive Us Out Of Business" and chanting, they complained a Taxi & Limousine Commission plan to sell 6,000 taxi medallions for yellow cabs to operate outside Manhattan would exclude them. The medallions are auctioned for as much as $1 million.

"We want a legalized and autonomous industry," Pedro Heredia, president of the Livery Base Owners, said in Spanish. He called for the sale of affordable permits or licenses for livery cars, separate from the yellow cab medallions, so livery drivers could legally pick up street hails.

Though they're supposed to respond only to dispatchers' calls, drivers are flagged down in the streets 150,000 times a day, according to the TLC.

"We are not giving up the keys to our cars and our businesses," Cira Angeles of the Livery Base Owners said in Spanish.

There are 22,000 livery cars and 38,000 drivers; many cars are used for double shifts.

"I have three kids, and I'm the head of the house - I can't afford a medallion," livery driver Nelson Espinal, 47, said in Spanish as protesters briefly blocked traffic on Broadway outside City Hall.

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