Edmonton cab drivers set to strike Monday
Published Sunday, August 12, 2012 6:40PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, August 12, 2012 8:33PM EDT
Edmontonians may have trouble hailing a cab on Monday as up to 800 taxi drivers from four different companies are set to go on strike, CTV Edmonton reports.
The union that represents the drivers for Yellow Cab, Barrel Taxi, Checker and Prestige Cabs has served strike notice and said Sunday its negotiators have been unable been to reach an agreement over a contested $6,200 collision fine imposed on drivers in the event of an accident.
“The biggest issue is the insurance surcharge. Most of our drivers own their own vehicles and part of their weekly stand rent includes the insurance premium for the fleet insurance, but on top of that this employer has chosen to (add) an accident penalty,” said David Froelich, secretary treasurer of Teamsters Local 987.
“He calls it an insurance surcharge but it has nothing to do with insurance. He collects over $6,000 from every driver every time they have an accident that he deems to be unpreventable.”
Froelich said the fee is not put toward fixing the vehicle or insurance costs.
The union is calling for the fine to be reduced or lifted, and says other expenses need to be reevaluated as well.
“There’s $20 here, $40 here, nickel and diming them to death. It eats into their take-home pay,” Froelich said.
According to the union, the strike notice was a last-resort measure.
“We find ourselves having exhausted all our options. We don’t have any options yet. We’ve been through negotiations, we’ve been through mediation. The only option we have left is to issue strike notice,” Froelich said.
With a report from CTV Edmonton’s Linda Hoang