United Taxicab Workers
A Personal Statement:
How SF Officials
by Dave Schneider
Here's some of the value of our labor:
And what benefits do we get?
I think I know something about human nature
and how to treat people.
I was into the Dalai Lama when I when I was nine before he became a popular religious icon.
Usually I keep these things to myself, but I am talking now to let you know how they really are at City Hall.
I helped start UTW, but it was really others, Mark Gruberg and Ruach Graffis and Dave Barlow and now Thomas George-Williams, Athan Rebelos and Bud Hazelkorn, with all their wisdom and work that have really been there for all of us.
I got a meeting with Willie Brown in May of 1997 and he committed to centralized dispatch but appointed Gavin to run his Taxi Task Force. Newsom says he's for the idea, but his support has been lukewarm.
But the recent Alioto-Pier, Peskin, Sandoval in-your-face-screw-you-drivers uncompensated rent hike was the biggest crippling con job since Willie put out the 500 cabs and didn't do centralized dispatch.
And did I mention the Board of Appeals just approved 69 more cabs even though there wasn't clear and convincing evidence that they were needed? I hate to say it, but Ruach was right when she testified it's a political game. In a prior newsletter she quoted Sgt. Reynolds about what might happen to the hotels when a taxi driver gets upset about the limos.
Personally I listen to Dr. Martin Luther King, who warned against violence, but if the Board of Supervisors and other regulatory agencies continue to ride rough-shod over taxi labor bad things could happen ... it's bad enough that they've trashed their ambassadors of good-will.
It's been a long time since Harry Bridges was in this town . . . maybe that's why most of the Supervisors (except for our usual labor supporters, Chris Daly, Tom Ammiano, Ross Mirkarimi and Bevan Dufty) and other city officials feel they can give us a tour of the short end of the stick. It's been going on for years. It's hard to have good will for people like that.
There's an old song with the lyrics: San Francisco open up your golden gate ... well they sure got the “gates” out of us.
Well, we have to organize. No one will give us anything. Maybe we could get a Cesar Chavez type or a Dr. King to help us. At the very end King helped the trash collectors in Memphis. He didn't treat workers like trash like the Supes do. Actually, we all have to be organizers and become a little bit like King and Chavez and party on for truth, social and economic justice and the American way, or whatever way it really is ...
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