Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Inviting The Burglar In For Dinner---Complicity And More Taxi Shenanigans

Alas, be glad everyone that I am tired and have more than enough to do and complete before I fly to Paris this upcoming Monday.  All I can say in short is that I am damn sick of the underhanded maneuvering that is called "business as usual" in the taxi industry.  I will call it rumor but in fact all of what I am about to write, as far as I know, is true.  And those labor professionals at Teamsters 117 should know better but they, as I have known all along, don't understand that unusual species called the "taxi" animal, a beast I have been observing closely now for over 28 years.  Hell, my own father grazed in the taxi pasture Toledo, Ohio 1958 and Denver 1969-75.  Yeah, I know theirs habits and traits.

One taxi driver who thinks he represents the industry (not me, I can tell you that!) has been down at the Teamsters Tukwila hall telling the flat-rate for-hire owners that he loves them and wants them to be able to exchange their flat-rate medallions one-for-one for taxi medallions.  He then comes back to his WAT & Sea-Tac friends and says the offer made was four-for-one.  Amazing, as I said, if true.

That is what I mean by inviting the burglars home for dinner, these same guys who stole from us for over three years.  What could those single owners at the airport and their Union backers be thinking?  Is this how they respond to their threatened Sea-Tac contract, thinking embracing the enemy will somehow eliminate the problem?  Am I the only one who remembers the history of those pre-WW II years 1936-39?

All I can say, similar to the negotiations with Mayor Ed Murray, no one, and I repeat, no one has appointed anyone connected to the Sea-Tac single owners and their Teamsters 117 backers to act as my official agent or as the agent for the 1-3 thousand independent operators and owners currently working in Seattle and King County.  Why they don't know they are walking down a darkened alley is beyond me.  Why don't they understand that any suggestion of prior permission is improper, pretending to represent me and others on issues important to all of us?  Do they have blindfolds on?  Yes, it appears that they do.

Making this all the more farcical  is that those erstwhile flat-rate friends are monitoring the Yellow taxis working the airport contract to see if they have the proper Sea-Tac permits.  Again, these are the same people who illegally operated openly for over three years. Who would take these kind of antics seriously? Why none other than the Port of Seattle itself, having issued new guidelines to Yellow effective August 30, 2015.  Clearly the Port of Seattle has been listening to the nonsense whispered into their ears. In the long run, this kind of silliness will result in more bad decisions and little else.

Luckily for everyone concerned I would rather catch up on my sleep instead of exposing even further the bold complicity of dishonest and misguided "thieves in the taxi night."  Even that good guy, Seattle City Council-member Mike O'Brien joined the comedy,  coming out in support of a TNC/Ride-share (Uber & Lyft) union because the saturated market created by his council colleagues is destroying the innocent.  This kind of naivete does nothing but add more confusion.  Why seek clarity when it is fashionable to put a box over your head and pretend you are some kind of human television.  Just what channel am I viewing, anyway?  This when we all thought cable TV was dead.  Watch out or you will trip over the cable protruding from their pant legs.

My final thought is this.  Just what will the burglars be eating at our dinner table?  Why, our "taxi lunch" of course!  What else could it be?  Just don't come over to my house expecting anything eatable. It ain't gonna happen!



  1. Joe, do you even understand Councilman O’Brien’s proposal?


    Seem like a fairly rational response to the lawsuits Uber (and, by extension, Lyft) lost in Federal District Court; the first being the change in labor designation status from “independent contractor” to “employee” and the second from individual lawsuits to one massive class action lawsuit.

    In addition, these decisions will now sets a precedent for the federal lawsuits against the more traditional aspects of this industry.

    So, my question to you is why are you against O'Brien's proposal?

    It seems like a logical reaction to the changes in this industry; CHANGES THAT YOU ARE STILL REFUSING TO GRASP!

    The industry has already changed and the dust is still settling and you are still stuck at square one railing at the City of Seattle.

    Thus, if you really want to help your fellow drivers, then O'Brien at least is heading in the right direction.

    What I cannot understand is how you are twisting the intent of this proposed legislation and not see how drivers at Yellow should want to fight for the very same kind of collective bargaining rights and why you would not want to support them in this kind of endeavor?

    It leads one to ask whom and what are you protecting and why?

    You have even made excuses for Yellow's plate leasing change and how this change will end up increasing expenses for anyone driving at Yellow, while those who run Yellow cost you just as much in terms of lost income as those who run the government.

    O'Brien's proposal is a very realistic response to the changes in this industry and recent court rulings and, whether you want to understand this or not, YOU SHOULD BE SUPPORTING THIS KIND OF LEGISLATION FOR THE GOOD OF ALL DRIVERS!

    Their lack of income is also OUR lack of income Joe and it is time for you to accept that these changes are not going away and things will not go back to the way they were.

    It is time to look at the current state of this industry and ask if the designation of "independent contractor" has any real meaning anymore.

    The Teamsters and their oddball collection of drivers and single owners is certainly not the right kind of vehicle to represent anyone in this kind of fight, but the concept of creating some form of collective bargaining certainly does make a great deal of sense for everyone in this industry, including those who drive at Yellow.

    What I cannot understand is why you cannot see this.

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