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USW Taxi Workers Council Responds to Government's Move to Open Door to Uber, Lyft

REGINA, Oct. 26, 2017 - The United Steelworkers (USW) Taxi Workers Council is expressing serious concerns regarding the Sask Party Government's move to open the door for Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing alternatives.

While the Premier has cloaked the effort as an initiative to reduce drunk driving, Steelworkers are pointing out that if he is concerned with public safety then unregulated taxi alternatives will achieve the exact opposite.

"Our drivers adhere to strict safety rules, from police background checks to annual car inspections, as well as enhanced driver training," says Malik Draz, Chair of the USW Taxi Workers Council. "Premier Wall fails to think of our most vulnerable populations like people with disabilities and the elderly who require specialized transportation service which our industry offers."

Ride hailing apps offer no guarantees of service for these vulnerable members of our society or the guaranteed availability of service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

"The government is rushing a decision that neglects public needs and safety and ignores the livelihoods of taxi industry workers," says Stephen Hunt, USW Western Canada Director.

The union believes it is essential that the government commit to a public consultation process with affected individuals, organizations and the public at-large.

The USW Taxi Workers Council represents 600 drivers and dispatchers across Western Canada. The Council was established this week to advocate on behalf of workers and our communities for a fairer and safer taxi industry.

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For further information:

Malik Draz, Chair of USW Taxi Workers Council, 306-370-3838; Stephen Hunt, USW District 3 Director, 604-816-2554 

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