Taxi Cab Drivers: Who Is Protecting Their Rights?

Last week a Punjabi Sikh cab driver suffered a gruesome act of hate in the middle of the night in the Bay Area. He was called Bin Laden, a terrorist, and someone who had come to this country to kill Americans. His attackers where white males working professional jobs in real-estate. Not your stereotypical attackers, but committing a very typical act of hate. Although, the attackers posted bail with their money; the injured cab driver can not work to provide for his family.

We have laws to protect the attackers, but who is protecting the taxi-cab driver? How is it possible that assaulting a taxi cab driver is not a felony in every American city? Taxi cab drivers have one of the most dangerous jobs because of the environments in which they transport clients and how money for service is exchanged. They never know the character of the person they are picking up or if he/she will have enough money to pay. They function off the assumption that they wont be attacked and their client will pay them. Otherwise, they could not make a profit in this business. They cant let their fear overtake them.

At a recent conference, Driving For The Future, a taxi cab workers alliance in the Bay Area called United Taxi Cab Workers, announced that they are working towards a bill of rights. The Asian Law Caucus is working closely with this group. The bill of rights would demand, for example, that attackers suffer more severe penalties and there be a safety-net of benefits to help cab drivers who have been assaulted. In an industry employing large number of immigrant men who are not fluent in English; the need to legally protect taxi-cab drivers rights is very important. We need to encourage Punjabi Sikh taxi cab drivers to participate in this alliance to make sure their needs are protected.


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17 Responses to “Taxi Cab Drivers: Who Is Protecting Their Rights?”

  1. […] the original: Taxi Cab Drivers: Who Is Protecting Their Rights? | The Langar Hall This entry was posted in Object and tagged cab-driver, cab-drivers, clients-and, dangerous-jobs, […]

  2. rocco says:

    Phulkari, thank you for the posting. Every night taxi drivers take their life into their hands when they go to work. Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance has done an wonderful job in NYC highlighting the plight of drivers. She could be a good resource.

  3. rocco says:

    Phulkari, thank you for the posting. Every night taxi drivers take their life into their hands when they go to work. Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance has done an wonderful job in NYC highlighting the plight of drivers. She could be a good resource.

  4. Phulkari says:

    Rocco-I agree Bhairavi Desai has done wonderful and amazing work with the New York Taxi Workers Alliance! She is working in solidarity with the Bay Area taxi cab drivers.

    She and the New York taxi cab drivers have secured many rights by functioning like a union for a profession that does not fit the legal definition for collective bargaining. They have worked tirelessly to attain basic rights that drivers in other cities should also have.

  5. Phulkari says:

    Rocco-I agree Bhairavi Desai has done wonderful and amazing work with the New York Taxi Workers Alliance! She is working in solidarity with the Bay Area taxi cab drivers.

    She and the New York taxi cab drivers have secured many rights by functioning like a union for a profession that does not fit the legal definition for collective bargaining. They have worked tirelessly to attain basic rights that drivers in other cities should also have.

  6. Steven Crowell says:

    Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance has made unprecedented strides on behalf of cab drivers. Recognition of the folly of partition use requirements is long overdue. I am a former cab driver who builds automobile partitions. Mine serve very well in police cruisers and utility vans, even limos. In a taxi… there is an objective previously not ascribed to partition use. TAXI partitions have been expected to be able to do something that they never did before. In no other application is a partition expected to perform as a robbery or assault prevention aid. In fact, this expectation is not fulfilled. The situation – with forcing partitions into every cab – is like this; Without a partition – a driver is usually attacked with a knife and not… a gun, usually survives and has, at least, the option… to REACH out with attempts to disarm the attacker. With a partition – driver attacks are usually done with a gun (knives become much less strategically viable), the gun is viable, more viable, for the attacker and any attempts to reach out to suppress the threat are always impossible. The partition serves well to protect the attacker, but not the assailant. The only obvious reason to insist on partition installation mandates remaining in place is due to the benefit the taxi regulator gets. The partition rule creates the illusion that they are DOING something, that is a preferred (by media and taxi regulators) alternative to ANY suggestion that drivers PROTECT THEMSELVES.

  7. Steven Crowell says:

    Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance has made unprecedented strides on behalf of cab drivers. Recognition of the folly of partition use requirements is long overdue. I am a former cab driver who builds automobile partitions. Mine serve very well in police cruisers and utility vans, even limos. In a taxi… there is an objective previously not ascribed to partition use. TAXI partitions have been expected to be able to do something that they never did before. In no other application is a partition expected to perform as a robbery or assault prevention aid. In fact, this expectation is not fulfilled. The situation – with forcing partitions into every cab – is like this; Without a partition – a driver is usually attacked with a knife and not… a gun, usually survives and has, at least, the option… to REACH out with attempts to disarm the attacker. With a partition – driver attacks are usually done with a gun (knives become much less strategically viable), the gun is viable, more viable, for the attacker and any attempts to reach out to suppress the threat are always impossible. The partition serves well to protect the attacker, but not the assailant. The only obvious reason to insist on partition installation mandates remaining in place is due to the benefit the taxi regulator gets. The partition rule creates the illusion that they are DOING something, that is a preferred (by media and taxi regulators) alternative to ANY suggestion that drivers PROTECT THEMSELVES.

  8. westlamovers says:

    Driving vehicle is very difficult and dangerous task. Every vehicle drivers take their life into their hands when they go to work. I think Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance has taken a proper step for taxi cab drivers. I like it.

  9. Driving a taxi cab is not an easy task. Every night taxi drivers take their life into their hands when they go to work. Through read out this article I've come to know that Bhairavi Desai of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance has taken a great step for taxi cab drivers that are really useful for them.

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