Taxi union and USW sign partnership agreement

Cab drivers hope new alliance will aid in upcoming contract negotiations
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 07/29/2011

Ontario’s biggest — and recently certified — taxi union has signed an agreement strengthening its partnership with the United Steelworkers Union (USW).

The more than 1,000 Ontario Taxi Workers Union (OTWU) members hope the agreement will help to achieve the union’s immediate goal of negotiating a first contract with Hamilton Cab and Blue Line taxi companies in Hamilton, Ont.

"Our first priority is a contract that addresses health and safety, lease rates, fair dispatch and a grievance procedure," says OTWU President Ejaz Butt. "This agreement with the Steelworkers gives us the backing and resources to do what it takes to get Hamilton Cab and Blue Line to the table and to negotiate a fair deal."

The agreement, signed yesterday, will also allow OTWU members access USW services, expertise and resources.

"We are honoured to include the Ontario Taxi Workers Union as one of our key allies and we are committed to providing its members all the support and resources we can to help them achieve their goals," says USW Canada's National Director Ken Neumann.

The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) certified the OTWU as a union earlier this year after a legal battle with Hamilton Cab and Blue Line Taxi. The two companies argued they were not the employers of the taxi drivers, but rather operators of a dispatch service for the independently employed taxi drivers.

The OLRB ultimately sided with the union and the OTWU became was certified in May 2011.

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