D.C. Taxi Drivers Take A Stand


Since taxi drivers formed the Washington, D.C. Taxi Operators Association in the fall of 2013, which is affiliated with Teamsters Local 922, the group has become stronger as it fights to defend the rights of taxi drivers in the nation’s capital.

This past spring, hundreds of D.C. cab drivers took part in a “Fairness NOW!” caravan throughout the city to demand an immediate stop to illegal private sedan services until a fair resolution is reached. The taxi drivers want the private sedan services to abide by the same rules and regulations taxis must follow.

“Virginia ordered a cease and desist order on these companies and the District of Columbia needs to do the same,” said Irfan Jamali, a D.C. taxi driver for the past 24 years. “We are tired of seeing our livelihoods harmed because of the city’s inaction. We demand fairness now!”

The association is pushing for the city to approve draft regulations proposed by the D.C. Taxicab Commission (DCTC).

The association has more than 2,000 members and is growing. City leaders and officials are now listening to drivers’ concerns, something that did not occur before the Teamster-affiliated taxi association was formed.

In less than a year, the association established a leadership structure made up of drivers to guide the association, has held numerous high-energy rallies, has set up a comprehensive text and email system to keep drivers informed and has met numerous times with the mayor, city councilmembers and with the DCTC.

“We have opened doors and drivers’ voices are being heard,” said Ferline Buie, President of Local 922 in Washington, D.C. and International Union Vice President. “We will continue to the fight for fairness regarding private sedan services and all the issues affecting the drivers.”

What can Teamsters do to help the drivers? Teamsters across the country who visit the city can help by hailing a taxi.