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'United To Win'
United To Win
The Quarterly Newsletter of the United Taxicab Workers
Sponsored by Communications Workers of America, Local 9410
Volume XXII Number 4 Fall 2009
Prop K System in Jeopardy
Prospect of Medallion Sales
Points to Huge Windfall for Some,
Lost Opportunity for Others
It began with an act of betrayal. After promising
in writing to preserve the taxi medallion system
established by Proposition K of 1978, Mayor Gavin
Newsom went back on his word and endorsed the sale
of medallions as a means of raising millions of dollars
for the city.
Under Prop K, medallions are city-owned and
cannot be bought and sold. Well over 1,000 cab drivers
have been issued medallions and gained a stake in the
taxi industry on account of the law.
click here to read this article
Participants at a November Town Hall meeting on the
future of Prop K listen to MTA Taxi Director Christiane
Hayashi (center rear).
UTW Plan Keeps K, Speeds List, Provides Benefits for All Drivers
United Taxicab Workers has put forward a plan for
changing San Francisco’s taxi system that respects the
needs of the driver, heeds the will of the voters and
recognizes the right of the public to good taxi service.
It starts with the idea that the best way to improve
service is to create a stable, experienced and dedicated
corps of career taxi drivers. That can be done by
providing drivers with decent earnings, benefits and
working conditions, and ensuring that medallions are
within the reach of all long-time drivers.
The plan provides that medallions will remain nontransferable
and will be kept in the hands of working
drivers. It addresses the two main criticisms of Prop K:
the lack of an exit strategy for medallion holders, and a
presumed unacceptable wait for medallion applicants in
years to come. And most importantly, it provides all
drivers with what is now sorely lacking in our industry:
benefits for retirement and other purposes.
click here for outline of UTW's plan
On Prop K’s Future
MTA Taxi Director Christiane Hayashi has scheduled the following Town Hall meetings to present and discuss her proposal for changing our present taxi system. Meetings will take place at 1 South Van Ness Ave., 2nd floor atrium.
Mon. Dec. 7: 6-9 p.m.
Mon. Dec. 14: 9 a.m.-12 noon
Tues. Dec. 8: 6-9 p.m.
Mon. Dec. 14: 6-9 p.m.
Wed. Dec. 9: 2-5 p.m.
Tues. Dec. 15: 6-9 p.m.
After the conclusion of this round of meetings, Director Hayashi will present a proposal to the MTA's Board of Directors. The proposal will go to the board first for discussion and then for action. The schedule is as follows:
Tues. Jan. 5:
2 p.m. (Discussion of proposal)
Tues. Jan. 19:
2 p.m. (Action on proposal)
SFMTA meetings can be viewed live in SF on SFGTV, Channel 26.
To view current or previous meetings online, go to
Yellow Puts Deposit on Hold After Hearing from MTA
For the third year in a row, Yellow Cab has tried to put in place a deposit on gate payments.
And for the third straight time, the company, under pressure, has backed off its plan.
The latest Yellow scheme, which it calls a “prepayment”, was supposed to go into
effect on Oct. 1. The company posted two notices informing drivers of the plan, but they were unsigned and
so ambiguously worded that many drivers who lease by the shift did not think it applied to them.
Unfortunately, it did.
The scheme appeared to violate a permanent court injunction...
click here to read this article
Above: Participants at a conference session held at
the Asian Law Caucus (l. to r., from front left): Mark
Gruberg, UTW; Sentayehu Silassie and Betty Hung, Los
Angeles Taxi Workers Alliance; Veena Dubal (standing)
and Summer Hararah, Asian Law Caucus; Anwar
Zadran, East Bay Taxi Drivers Association; Javaid
Tariq and Bhairavi Desai, New York Taxi Workers
Alliance; Ruach Graffis, UTW.
Below: Javaid Tariq and Bhairavi Desai talking to
drivers at SFO.
Attorney at Law
Traffic & Criminal Defense and Personal Injury
421 Grand Avenue, Suite A
South San Francisco, CA 94080
Fax (650) 589-3980
Taxi Conference Highlights
Common Goals, Concerns
A lively and productive two-day conference entitled “Driving Our Future” brought together taxi driver
representatives from four cities in early September for a
discussion of opportunities and challenges in the battle to
protect drivers’ interests and defend their rights.
United Taxicab Workers and the Asian Law Caucus
were hosts of the conference, with driver reps from New
York, Los Angeles and Oakland participating.
A major topic of discussion at a public session held
on day two of the conference was the need for a Cab
Driver Bill of Rights.
MTA Taxi Director Chris Hayashi attended the open
session and explained some of her ideas for increasing
cab drivers’ income.
John Dugan of Communications Workers of America
(CWA), UTW’s parent union, also participated in some
of the discussions.
A highlight of the event was a visit to a meeting of
the MTA’s Board of Directors. Conference participants
spoke during public comment, giving their perspectives
on San Francisco’s medallion sales debate.
The conference was a follow-up to the founding
meeting of the International Taxi Workers Alliance,
which took place in 2007 in New York.
UNITED TO WIN is published quarterly by United
Taxicab Workers. UTW is sponsored by Communications Workers
of America, AFL-CIO.
Mailing address: 2940 16th Street #314, San Francisco, CA 94103.
Phone: (415) 864-8294.
We welcome the submission of letters, photos and articles to be considered for publication.
Printer: Accurate Printing, 760 Bryant St., S.F. 94107.
Editor: Mark Gruberg.