Saturday, November 9, 2019

Seattle & King County's Failure Part 2

While somewhat entertaining, last week's posting omitted some important details as to just why the forced entry into a taxi association is lethal to the independent cab operator, taking away some inherent rights usually connected to independently run businesses, Seattle and King County's decision entering us into a nebulous regulatory state akin to a bureaucratic purgatory, positioning us somewhere between heaven and hell without obvious release.  Before, all us single taxi owners were like all other nonaligned businesses you might see, be it bakery, laundromat, used car dealership, etc, subject of course to local rules and regulations but still, allowed to make their own business decisions as they saw fit, sinking or swimming mostly up to themselves alone and no one else.  While being a regulated industry, there are and were some differences but still, in most cases, the independent single cab owner was free to conduct their business in a manner they were most comfortable with.

But upon City & County intervention, all that changed, transforming the once independent business into a kind of unrequested franchise arrangement, this sudden change altering forever the freedom he/she once had, tying their hands into a kind of Gordian Knot---nothing resolving the dilemma of dictatorial association oversight controlling your every legal movement.  How and why the City & County thinks this is a reasonable and sustainable position is beyond comprehensive understanding, statutorily leaving us completely helpless and defenseless, minus any governmental or regulatory ally.

Again, as stated lest week, this was done to protect the public but does our passenger public truly require this level of governmental shielding from the local taxi industry?  Where is the evidence that it is required?  While Uber nationally deals with approximately 1200 serious complaints a week,  I believe it would take us cabbies in Seattle and King County an entire decade or more to accrue 1200 total reviewable complaints.  A few weeks ago, a former Seattle-area Uber driver was convicted of rape.  In all my years associated with taxi since 1987, I don't remember one rape committed by a local cabbie.  Some very stupid behavior, yes, but aggravated physical sexual assault, no.

My question then, voiced once again, is how did we deserve to be shackled to association serfdom minus option or legal regress?  And when I do contact the City & County, pointing out clear association violations, they plead helplessness, saying they have nothing to do with it.  But as I am pointing out, they (Seattle & King County) have "everything" to do with this, their dismantling of the independent single owner model intentional, enslaving us to the taxi associations minus legal entreaty.  How does this make any sense?

Since this arrangement isn't working, how can he City & County make it better?  A first suggestion is to decide just what kind of business is a taxi association and what kind of legal rights do both single owners and lease drivers have when associating themselves with this kind of entity?   Are we independent contractors or are we employees?

Currently, it appears, PSD (Puget Sound Dispatch) treats us as employees, completely subject to rules created and enforced solely by them.  Multiple times I have requested to see the legal documentation allowing them to do this.  Months and years have passed, and I have yet to see anything from PSD management.  How can they just ignore my request while gladly accepting my weekly $180.00 dispatch fee?  Clearly I am an independent contractor in good standing, so why has my request been denied?

Or perhaps they don't truly know what their legal standing is, or worse, are not interested in knowing.  Easier, much easier, minus no regulatory oversight from the City, County and the State of Washington, to just keep doing what they have been doing for years: trampling upon the legal and civil rights of the cab drivers while collecting an estimated monthly income of $288,000, annually adding up to $3,456,000.  This is a rough estimate based upon 400 single owners paying their weekly $180.00 dispatch fee. Another something that should be known is just how much of this 3 1/2 million dollars is pure profit flowing directly into PSD board member pockets?

Isn't anyone curious?

1 comment:

  1. Joey ,
    Want an answer to your last question ?? Just look at the big grin on
    Sadik's face !! He's smiling for
    a reason and it ain't because he's
    happy to see you !!
    Bill ...