Monday, July 27, 2009

Solidarity Fund Appeal

Driving a taxicab is one of the most dangerous occupations in Canada. Assault is a daily occupational hazard. And even with unionization, cabbies (and their families) suffer when they are forced off the job by the injuries they receive.

In Ottawa, two cab drivers have recently been hurt on the job. I wrote about one of them, Sami Aldoboni, here. His alleged assailant, Shyldon Safruk, is an Ottawa cop. Safruk is now facing assault charges, but, unlike Aldoboni, continues to receive full pay. The second case is more usual: two thugs, both "known to police," beat up Abdinsaq Abdullahi on Elgin Street in downtown Ottawa after he had the temerity to ask for his fare. He remains in hospital.

Neither of the drivers, under current Ontario Workers Safety and Insurance Board rules, qualifies for worker's compensation, if you can believe it. (Are they "workers" or "independent operators?") While bureaucrats fiddle, these workers and their families go without.

The cabbies' union, CAW Local 1688, is asking for donations to help the drivers and their families. Please make out a cheque or a money order to "Taxicab Drivers' Relief Account" and send it to:

The Taxicab Drivers' Relief Account
CAW Local 1688
205-700 Industrial Avenue
Unit 1
Ottawa, ON K2G 0Y9.

For further information, contact Yusef Al-Mezel, President, Local 1688 at or by telephone at 613.739.0900.

Many thanks in advance.


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