Vijay Bali

Recorded by Deepa Ranganathan

:37 At this moment neither is myself a taxi driver nor is bhairavi but we were on the opposite sides. **********One person was there for political reasons, and we had organized, united yellow, in order to motivate the taxi driver. In a way that he would know that he could get his rights if he went in the right direction.

1:22 United was started in 97. The drivers had so many problems, the airport was one of that. At the airport there were some drivers, illegal fares, and the drivers were not treated in the manner which they should be. Specific in the sense that because of their lack of language, they could not relate to the officials in the city. And those officials were not taking them as the citizens of this great country should be taken. ********* Read more...

Javaid Tariq, Co-Founder of New York Taxi Workers Alliance

Javaid Tariq –
Recorded by Deepa Ranganathan

inside the car, with blinker light on, and windshield wipers.

1:05 my name is javaid tariq, I’m driving a yellow cab in new york city, also a co founder and organizing committee member of new york taxi worker alliance, non profit org to help cab drivers and other working class people which included in this industry, like garage mechanics and other car service drivers and anybody who is connected with this cab industry, so we help tem to solve their problems, like that. Read more...

Bhairavi Desai, Founding Member of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance

Bhairavi Desai
director of new york taxi workers alliance.
Recorded by Deepa Ranganathan

I’m Bhairavi Desai
In April 1998 Rudolph Giuliani, the mayor at the time, had announced a plan to implement 17 new rules against taxi drivers. These rules and regs would have increased fines for drivers by 300 to 600 percent, added much more control over drivers and would have really restricted drivers’ ability to maintain their licenses. Saeed ahmed and I, saeed was org of twa, we had goneo ut to houston st to shift change at Houston st, when day and night drivers meet up to exchange vehicle, had gone out to do outreach on Friday afternoon at 2nd and 2nd, and that day there was article out on daily news, front page articles basically slamming taxi drivers as being reckless and dangerous and rude, ******same old attacks the city had launched on drivers for years. Member after member after member walked up to us and said we have to strike, enough is enough, ********* we’re not reckless, we work 12 hour days, we make under min wage, no health care, 60 times more likely to be killed on the job than any other worker. Face exploitation on so many levels. And yet here’s mayor of city presenting drivers as if they’re criminals and not hardworking people who actually get victimized and exploited throughout their day.

2:49 and so drivers were just really fed up and people started walking up and saying gotta stirke, have to send message that we’re not going to take it ****** started to make phone calls, everyone really riled up, angry, fed up and sad at the same time that this is how their hard labor being e to rest of world. Org community had meeting that Sunday night. By that time we knew going to vote for strike, already prepared flyer, just had to decide on dates. Basically at meeting first we voted yes we want to organize strike, unanimous discussion. Read more...