Friday, June 17, 2011

Support For A Taxi Strike Growing? Read The Latest Report. By John Han.

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."  

Brad Newsham.   


  1. Bravo Brad Newsham,

    Now, if only Healy, korengold and minikel could be half the man you are,

    We would be going somewhere!

  2. I endorse these remarks of Mr. Brad Newsham: they are called for; they are general enough to be useful to the SFMTA (should it desire to make use of them); and they are transparent.
    I personally am in sympathy with only some of the issues for which the drivers are staging their demonstration. But again, Mr. Newsham's remarks, being general, avoid partisanship and come to the larger point: that the SFMTA is misinterpreting and grossly abusing the authority granted it under Proposition A, and is, most certainly, treating all the cab drivers as second-class citizens of the SFMTA.
    The bus drivers and other employees of the SFMTA should be ashamed of the way the cab drivers are being treated, and VERY ashamed of the way their salaries, benefits, and pensions are being paid for by the cab drivers who are treated as their decided inferiors, and who have none of these things they are being forced to pay for, for others.

  3. Gee,

    It must be nice to be in such a high brow caste, go to high brow events and

    Eat, drink and be merry then pass on the costs to the lower caste, the untouch

    Ables. You know the drivers, but of course!

    I think the SFMTA committee members deserve to have their salaries doubled,

    Pensions spiked and and have lifetime healthcare, only the very best of course

    Now if only those peasent, serf, untouchable drivers shut up while we bleed

    Them dry, and who knows, perhaps there morale might improve like the good

    Little sheeple that they are!

  4. Now if only Anonymous could be half the men Healy, Korengold and Minikel are and sign his name.

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  6. To Mrs. Anonymous. I am not good at diplomacy and I hate people who is wearing the pantie as a crown; acting like a tough guy who dare not to identify him/herself is so unspeakable and disgusting. I stand my ground for what I think it is fare.
    If you are so scared and cannot get over yourselve, dont even bother to say anything. Please come to TAC meeting or city hall and speak yourself.
    By the way, nice hat!

  7. To All Commenting,

    Please refrain from name calling or unnecessary descriptions as they are not necessarily in good taste and serves more to discredit an issue rather than validate one. If someone feels the need to question the leadership within the taxi industry, that would be conceivably valid. It would be valid if someone honestly feels that way. But please do so in a way that sticks to the point, and avoids unnecessary references and language.

    Unfortunately, I can't be at the computer checking 24/7, and I'm very reluctant to have to approve comments first because I want people to say what they want.

    Please respect EVERYONE'S right to use this as free speech.

    Comments that are written in poor taste only creates stirs up fights rather than facilitates healthier discussion, and any further comments of that nature will be removed as soon as they're spotted by this publisher.

    IT WOULD TOTALLY SUCK if I had to moderate and approve every comment before they're published. Please do not make me have to do that by simply moderating them yourselves, and writing more responsible comments.

    Thanks Again, please be respectful.

  8. Brad Newsham. Wrote a genius analysis of the situation .
    He totally articulated the whole injustice of the crime.
    Cab drivers who are underpaid, are paying for fat cats at SFMTA and the bus drivers benefits with the earnings from our cab industry wow!

  9. Brad Newsham would make for a excellent choice, as he appears to not

    Only reasonable but articulate as well, unlike some some owner's who post

    On this site.

  10. Anomymous:

    Brad Newsham is a friend of mine and we basically agree on things. Brad Newsham does not hide behind anonymity, and he is respectful when speaking to people. So am I, unless I'm being disrespected, and particularly when slandered.

    He does not try to take over Town Hall meetings and start yelling at the Deputy Taxi Director who has done more and tried harder to listen to and help drivers than any other directer or administrator of taxis I've seen in 23 years. Yes, she has her orders and is limited in power, but she is not the evil that has to go.

    You're attitude, and that of Tariq, is why I cannot fully get behind your "strike". I agree with what Brad says in his article and that the SFMTA sees us as "cash cows" and basically disrespects us as workers or business operators.

    I don't however, support Tariq's assertion that Chris Hayashi is bad and has to go. Quite the contrary, she's very human and fair minded. Tariq, who you're evidently behind these days, was all for free market sales of medallions and is pissed at Hayashi because he doesn't qualify to buy one, couldn't put his name on the list before she closed it, and for not letting the financial agency he had connections to, be a financier. He also puts out false information on his flyers. It's hard to get behind that.

    If you recall, Tariq did a smear campaign on Gruberg a few years ago too.

    Brad has a good heart and good intentions. I think he should go to more meetings and stay longer. So should you.

  11. Oh korengold

    It's mighty White of you to respond, I guess you can't help yourself, you just

    Keep taking those hits I'm delivering, you certainly a glutton for punishment, ok


    It sure is nice you have friends like brad, but isn't obvious by now, his intellect

    Has not worn off on you?

    With respect to hayashi, some people just are not really into the master and

    Servant relationship you have with hayashi. ( in my opinion of course )

    With respect to the SFMTA drivers are really into kissing the boots that kick them

    In the teeth!

    With respect to slanderous comments and my identity, my opinions are

    Protected and my name is......................... Johnny walker or MR Walker to you


  12. I would like to add that it's unfortunate there's this confusion as to whether the strike is about the concerns mentioned in Brad's article, or the things which most concern Tariq, "the key organizer of the strike".

  13. Pardon,

    I meant NOT really into kissing the boots, that kick them in the teeth, that's

    More your style, right Barry?

    Till next time.....................................Johnny walker.

  14. Dear Barry,

    Are you still going to be in this industry after the SFMTA with the help of your

    Girlfriend hayashi unilaterally decides to seize all owner medallions without

    Just compensation, after all since prop K is doa what makes you think, after

    They pretty much told the people on the medallion waiting list to take a hike

    And they conspired to impose credit card fees on drivers, what makes you think

    Barry because you have the "inside track" on things you will come out


    Johnny Walker

  15. Mr. Walker - What have you done for your fellow drivers? And what credibility do you have? BTW, is that your name, or is that what you're drinking?

  16. Dear Barry,

    Sigh............does your mother know your up this late talking to strangers?

    But since you up so late why can't you answer any of my questions regarding

    Your overly friendly relationship?

    Do you really think lawyer, who has no respect for laws and rulings is going

    To keep any promises to a hack like you?

    Johnny Walker

  17. Yipes -- what in the world is going on here? I think the SFMTA is to blame for starting all of this incivility with a home invasion robbery, but I don't think we need to imitate them!

    Ed Healy, Barry Korengold, Bill Minikel... all these people have put their best selves forward to try to improve the lot of cab drivers, and the evidence supports the idea that they have done that. And geez -- Chris Hayashi has been about as fair as she can be, given that she's been sent by a bunch of, at best, thoughtless bureaucrats, to take our money. She's somehow managed to keep her job while only having collected a small portion of what she was sent to collect. I don't think she should be allowed to collect one cent more than is needed for our regulation (as I have stated, ad naseum), and I hope that we can drive her money-hungry bosses away, and free up Hayashi to do the job of fairly regulation the cab industry, as I think she really wants to do, and as I think she is absolutely capable of doing. Imagine what a great place the cab industry could be, if we didn't all have this SFMTA gun to our heads! There's two more cents worth.

    And as for that "half the man" baloney... Geez -- anybody who can sit through the number of meetings these guys have sat through over the last three years or so... They're twice whatever it is I am... I don't know how they do it and stay sane... Do you know how much they get paid?

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