Boadicea Follows on from the extraordinary day of hunger striking that took place in New York’s financial district on Monday, the next day saw hundreds of angry drivers outside taxi company headquarters in the city.
At least a dozen people have been arrested for the mass action, the action was led by Laszlo Mehren, head of the United Taxi Workers Alliance and clearly one of the most persistent protesters in front of the offices of New York’s Unified Taxi and Limousine Commission (UMLC) against frozen pay and poor conditions.
He has now lost nearly 30lbs, has been forced to spend nights in a prison cell due to a lack of lodging, and has been taken into hiding in order to avoid further arrest.
His speech has hit the headlines and featured in many international news articles, but it has also gained a rather hostile tone that quite possibly contributed to Mehren losing face and sending some people away from the demonstration.
“Eat just like we do”, he exclaimed, “or you will lose your job” to jeers and a few people who walked away as he began a speech saying, “L-O-V-E-O”.
The world’s largest cabbies’ union has today called for a week long strike of black and yellow cabs on 8 September, “if they don’t offer a reasonable solution” as Chairman Mehren writes in an open letter to Mayor Bloomberg.
The Black Taxi Association and Supporters have also called on the City to make a $25 million payment to drivers in the coming weeks, bringing the total to $77 million, before leaving their hard-earned money to riders.
This payment will only cover the first 60 days of a strike if and when it takes place. With no recces of strike dates released and the union expected to place more pressure on the city for the money they feel is due to them, it may prove that things are just as tough as Mehren.