|Tariq Mehmood is the key organizer of the strike likely to happen|
on Tuesday, June 21st. File photo by John Han.
Here are some newspaper articles reporting more details about this Tuesday's taxi strike.
According to the SF Examiner and other sources I spoke with over the phone, the protest will be at City Hall between 12 noon and 2 PM. Taxi drivers are expected to hold themselves out of service and either circle City Hall honking horns or park their taxis during those hours.
And the SF Weekly thinks there's enough momentum growing.
Also, medallion holder Brad Newsham will stage a photo op at 12:30 PM.
As part of the event, a photograph of cab drivers standing together in solidarity will be taken PROMPTLY at 12:30 PM in front of City Hall. Newsham is calling for cab drivers who want to part of the photo to meet near the American flag in Civic Center Plaza, across the street from City Hall, Polk St. side.
"PLEASE ARRIVE NO LATER than 12:15 PM, and look for someone handing out instructions with the exact details," Newsham says. Here is Newsham's message to the industry...
So, what DO cab drivers want?
"It's very simple. We ask only that the revenue generated by our humble labor should be plowed back into improving the taxicab industry instead of being siphoned away by the SFMTA. Our regulators at the SFMTA currently regard the taxicab industry merely as a source of funding for the salaries, healthcare, and pensions of the SFMTA's 5,000 employees. On the other hand, the SFMTA says that the city's 7,000 cab drivers are not eligible for such benefits, but are in fact ineligible for benefits of any kind.
This shocking remnant from the days of slavery runs counter to every single value held by the people of San Francisco. We cab drivers are confident that our fellow citizens will soon hear our pleas for mercy and justice, and will agree that the money generated by our labors shall not be siphoned away.
The taxicab industry should and can and already does generate all the money required for its reasonable regulation, and we drivers feel that the additional money generated by our labor should not be taken away by the SFMTA, but should be used to make the taxicab industry a more vibrant transportation option for the people of San Francisco and all visitors.
Every issue involving the cab industry can indeed be worked out by reasonable people treating each other respectfully, but no issue can be resolved if a money-hungry group from outside the taxicab industry is allowed to run amok inside the taxicab industry. What's generated by the cab industry should stay in the cab industry.
We want a law specifying that the SFMTA shall take from the taxicab industry only the money required for reasonable regulation, and that 100 percent of the rest will be plowed back into the taxicab industry. Or else we want a law cutting us loose from the SFMTA. We feel this is absolutely fair and reasonable."