Pierre Douchemin and Bernard Sabago have had enough.
According to an article on WBUR, the two taxi drivers intend to file suit against the City of Boston, the Independent Operators Association, Boston Cab Dispatch and the USA Taxi Association to win back operating fees they see as unfair and to get taxi drivers at least the minimum wage for the hours that they work.
What kind of fees are they talking about? Per the article, cab drivers pay for tolls if they aren't carrying a passenger, they pay for the gas in their cab and their own insurance, and they also pay a fee for a "medallion." A cab medallion, issued by the city, "can run up to a half-million dollars at auction," and so medallions are typically owned by cab companies, rather than cab drivers themselves.
Since, cab companies with medallions "ask drivers to share that cost through a daily fee," the combined expenses for cab drivers can add up to $150 per shift they work.
Shannon Liss-Riordan, the attorney representing the two men, told WBUR that “Essentially, cab drivers pay to work,” but John Ford, the Revere owner of Top Cab/City Cab disagrees.
“No one’s going to go out there and work 60 hours for zero,” Ford says. “These two gentlemen who say they make no money, maybe they should work harder.”
Where do you stand? Is this a case of laziness or a broken bureacracy?
Editorial Note: this article, poll, and comments section are shared with the Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Charlestown, and South End Patch.com sites.