SAN DIEGO–The United Taxi Workers of San Diego has joined the San Diego Labor Council as the council’s first non-union affiliate.
Under current California law, taxi drivers are termed “independent contractors,” which means they are technically not employees and don’t have the right to collectively bargain. As a result, drivers do not benefit from labor laws protecting mandatory lunch periods, breaks, minimum wage and limited shifts. They often face 12 hour shifts and uncapped lease fees, lack health insurance, and face retaliation in their efforts to improve safety conditions.
But today, for the first time in San Diego, taxi workers have formed a Worker Center and successfully affiliated with the AFL-CIO and San Diego Labor Council. It provides taxi workers with needed support as they work with elected officials on policies that support drivers and helps continue to shine a light on the many industry and owner-specific abuses afflicting the San Diego taxi industry.
“As the economy evolves, labor will continue to adapt to meet the needs of all workers,” said Lorena Gonzalez, Secretary-Treasurer of the San Diego Labor Council. “We’re excited to welcome taxi workers as the Labor Council’s first non-union workers and the latest advocates for more jobs, better jobs, and better lives for all workers, both union and non-union.”