Hundreds of Edmonton cab drivers set to strike Monday
Published Saturday, August 11, 2012 6:10PM MDT Last Updated Sunday, August 12, 2012 6:30PM MDT
Hundreds of Edmonton cab drivers are set to hit the picket line on Monday.
The union that represents the drivers for Yellow Cab, Barrel Taxi, Checker and Prestige Cabs have served strike notice and say no last minute negotiations were made over the weekend, meaning close to 800 drivers could be on strike Monday morning.
Teamsters Local 987, the union representing the drivers, says the main concern is over a $6,200 fine that drivers are slapped with if they're involved in a collision.
“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. 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,” said David Froelich with Teamsters Local 987.
“That’s $6,200 every time a driver may slip on ice and bump into a snow bank and shatter a bumper or back into a concrete pad at a parking lad or have an accident. It doesn’t go to fix the vehicles. It doesn’t go to the insurance company. It goes right to his pocket and that’s unacceptable.”
The union wants the insurance surcharge removed or significantly reduced along with other expenses imposed by the employer.
“There’s $20 here, $40 here, nickel and diming them to death. It eats into their take-home pay,” Froelich said.
The union hopes an agreement can be reached over the weekend and say serving strike notice was the last resort.
“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.