An organization fighting for a fare increase for taxi drivers, among other things, held a second cab strike in as many weeks Monday morning, from 6-11 a.m.
Although leaders from the United Taxidrivers Community Council insist their efforts have been successful, there were plenty of cabs downtown on Monday.
Speakers at a press conference UTCC held near the Sheraton Hotel, 301 E. North Water St., said that some drivers couldn’t participate because they couldn’t afford to take any time off work.
The city council’s transportation committee will hold a hearing on July 31 to discuss a fare rate hike, something protesters and drivers cautiously called “encouraging.”
Fayez Khozindar, chair of the United Taxidrivers Community Council, discusses the cab strike at the organization’s offices in the South Loop, on Monday. The city’s transportation committee will hold a hearing on July 31 to discuss a rate hike–one of the UTCC’s main demands.
Syed Khan, a taxi driver, holds a sign supporting Monday’s cab strike from the window of his cab.
A protesting cab driver holds a strike sign.
A parked cab draped with strike signs on its front windows.
Supporters of the cab strike listen during a press conference called by UTCC on Monday.
Erek Slater, a CTA bus driver and member of the Amalgamated Transit Union, local 241, expresses support for the cab strike during Monday’s UTCC press conference.
Cabs were still lining up downtown to pick up passengers on Monday morning during the hours of the UTCC strike.
Ilyas Sayed, a Chicago cab driver of 12 years, speaks at Monday’s press conference. Sayed told reporters that cab drivers have been asking for a raise for seven years. “The city has been postponing it because they can’t decide; if you [city] can’t decide, un-regulate the meters and let the market decide … let people decide” how much to pay drivers. Sayed also noted that the cab drivers who didn’t participate in Monday’s strike did so because they cannot afford not to work.
Michael Savaskin, who has driven a Chicago cab for 18 years, has not participated in the strikes. Savaskin, a native of Moscow, owns a medallion and drives his own cab. While he supports the idea of the strike and thinks drivers deserve a fare hike, he didn’t join his fellow cabbies because many of the issues–like drivers’ opposition to increased lease rates–don’t affect him. Nonetheless, Savaskin said he, too, has seen a serious reduction in business since the economy crashed in 2008.
A cab driver picks up a customer outside Union Station. Even though a second strike was called, cabs were readily available at the train station, and throughout downtown, during the hours of the strike.