August 13, 2015
By David Kreisman Reprinted
Chicago, Illinois – After decades of being treated like second-class citizens by the City of Chicago, cab drivers on Aug. 1 took the historic step of forming their own local union, the first in 30 years in Chicago.
More than 150 drivers attended Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Local 2500’s inaugural meeting, becoming dues-paying members and pledging to continue the fight for a level playing field with Transportation Network Providers (TNPs) like UberX and Lyft, continue to build power to demand the respect they deserve as ambassadors of the city, and provide residents and visitors with the safe and professional service they expect from professional cab drivers.
“By chartering our union local with AFSCME, we’re expanding upon the strength we’ve built over the last year,” said Nnamdi Uwazie, a founding member of the union. “We have thousands of drivers signing on to stand together with one united voice, to build the power we need in order to provide permanent solutions to the struggles drivers face every day.”
Ezz Abdelmagid, a fellow cab driver and founding member of Cab Drivers United/AFSCME Local 2500 agreed. “The days where the City of Chicago feels they can treat us like we don’t matter and make decisions that affect us and our passengers without our input are over,” he said.
As it begins its membership drive, the union continues to expand its Driver Advocate Program to help drivers navigate the administrative hearing court at 400 West Superior, and to lobby the Chicago City Council to ensure that licensed professional cab drivers get a fair shake in competition with UberX, Lyft and other TNPs.