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New York taxi drivers threaten two-day strike

Taxi drivers have complained that proposals put forward by the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) requiring them to install the satellite systems by October 1 infringe on their rights.
by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) Aug 23, 2007
New York's taxi drivers on Thursday said they would mount a two-day strike in early September if authorities did not scrap plans to introduce satellite positioning systems in the city's yellow cabs.

"We are ready to go on strike on September 5 and September 6," Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which represents some 8,400 of New York's 26,000 cabbies, told AFP.

"The strike will begin Wednesday morning at 5 am. If the city meets our demands, of course we will call off the strike," she said. "We don't want GPS tracking on the taxi meters," she added, urging all cab drivers to join in.

Taxi drivers have complained that proposals put forward by the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) requiring them to install the satellite systems by October 1 infringe on their rights.

"Taxi drivers sometimes use the cars in their private time. Why should they tell the TLC where they are going on a Sunday with their family? This is an invasion of privacy," Desai told AFP last month.

The satellite system also includes a monitor for passengers to follow their route and check news and weather as well as pay their fare by bank card.

According to taxi drivers' groups, the devices cost more than 5,000 dollars to install and will inform the Taxi and Limousine Commission where they are, how many trips they have taken and how much they took in fares.

The alliance said that if the strike goes ahead it would be the group's first stoppage since 1998. The strike would likely cause severe disruption in the city, where an estimated 800,000 passengers travel by cab every day.

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Car Satellite Navigation Systems Can Be Steered The Wrong Way
Las Vegas (AFP) Aug 3, 2007
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