OTTAWA, Nov. 12, 2015 /CNW/ - A mass rally will be held Friday morning in support of locked out Ottawa taxi drivers, members of Unifor Local 1688, more than three months after their employer locked them out after they refused to accept a drastic pay cut.
"Three months locked out has been very difficult on these families. We needed to increase our efforts in hopes of bringing Coventry Connections and the Airport Authority to the table," said Unifor National President Jerry Dias, who will speak at the rally.
The lockout began in early August when Coventry, which owns all the cabs in Ottawa, cut a deal with the Airport Authority to drastically increase the fees paid by drivers picking up fares at the airport from $345 to more than $1,300 per month, by tacking $5 onto the cost of every ride.
"Taxi drivers in Ottawa work long hours at minimum wage levels incomes. They simply cannot afford such a massive cut in their pay," Dias said. "This is a cash grab by the airport and Coventry of more than $2 million, on the back of these working families."
- What: Day of Action in support of locked out taxi drivers, members of Unifor Local 1688
- Where: Meet at St. Elias Conference Centre, 750 Ridgewood Avenue. Rally to follow
- When: Friday, November 13, 10am
- Who: Speakers include Unifor National President Jerry Dias, as well as supporters of the taxi drivers
"Unifor has made a reasonable offer to settle this dispute. All we are looking for are serious discussions to find a settlement that's fair for all involved," Dias said.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 members, including more than 2,500 in the Ontario taxi industry. It was founded Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.