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Monday, July 11, 2011

Muni Operators Could Get Fired for Joining Taxi Strike

Posted By on Mon, Jul 11, 2011 at 8:10 AM

click to enlarge You can still catch a Muni train that day
  • You can still catch a Muni train that day

SF Weekly recently told readers about how taxi drivers and Muni operators were planning to team up in an Aug. 2 strike to defy their boss -- the San Francisco Transportation Agency.

It turns out Muni operators can't strike, technically. According to the most recent Muni contact agreement, which was forced on the union, they could get fired for striking.

But that won't stop some Muni drivers from joining the cabbies at City Hall for the 24-hour strike.

Walter Scott, secretary of TWU Local 250A , which represents more than

2,000 Muni workers, told us that, as a union, operators won't be taking any official action that day. What the union will do is look the other way if Muni drivers who are off that day decide to join the taxi protest.

"If there are operators are off that day and [they] want to carry picket signs or go to the meeting and speak in favor [of taxi drivers], then operators are more than welcome to do that on their own time," Scott told SF Weekly.

The union will also offer financial resources to help taxi drivers with the strike, Scott says. "I feel for them," he says.

Cabbies are also upset about the 5 percent credit card processing fee

they have to shell out each time a passenger pays by card. They're also distressed of the SFMTA's proposal to add an electronic waybill system

and rear seat payment terminals. The waybill system would allow the transit agency to track fare information, which drivers say is intrusive.

The Taxi Advisory Council is expected today to discuss lowering those fees to 3 percent, but even that won't change the cab drivers' plans to disrupt service come Aug. 2.

"They are still not listening to us," Tariq Mehmood, a cab driver organizing the strike, told the Examiner. "Our No. 1 concern is the electronic waybill system."

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert has been Online News Editor for SF Weekly since 2010. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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