The ordinary drivers (non-medallion holders) fall into two main groups: those who may or may not be represented by the UTW and the vast majority who lack representation.
The UTW is one of the more bizarre organizations I've ever come across. They claim to represent drivers but they are not a union and appear to have no interest in what the average driver thinks or wants. In the past:
- They talked the city into putting shields into taxis despite the fact that the drivers were overwhelming against such shields.
- After the second largest protest in SF taxi history forced the city to remove the shields, Rua Graffis of the UTW continued and continues to push for their implementation.
- The UTW has spent the last several years trying to force a medical plan on the city despite a Taxi Detail poll showing that 58% of the drivers were against the plan.
- The UTW talked the Taxi Commission into NOT putting in a meter increase during the boom years of 2004 - 2007 that almost all drivers wanted. The UTW's reasoning? The drivers couldn't have a meter increase unless they had a medical plan ... or something?
The UTW has also fought against or sabotaged all attempts to bring a real drivers union into San Francisco. Currently;
- The UTW is with the regular drivers in wanting to protect Prop. K and not auction off the medallions.
- At the same time, the UTW backs a plan to soak the medallion holders $10,000 a year in order (I guess) to socialize the industry.
- Put another way: the UTW wants the drivers to get their medallions at the same time as they (the UTW) renders those medallion effectively worthless.
The UTW's motto? "Dazed and Confused."
The vast majority of drivers are not represented, period. Their motto is: "Help! I need someone. Help! Just about anyone. Help me! Wooooooo."
Naturally, they fall into two groups: those who are on The List and those who aren't.
The drivers on The List would be devastated by an auction and, the closer they are to the top, the harder they would be hit.
Drivers not on The List or toward the bottom of it might see an advantage in getting backing from the Lazars and Tariqs in order to compete in an auction. The younger the driver, the more worthwhile even a high interest loan might be.
There is some cross-over among the groups that I've mentioned during the last two posts.
- The SFCDA and the drivers on The List have a natural bond and they both would go along with the UTW in opposing changes in Prop K.
- On the other hand, neither the drivers on The List nor the SFCDA would go along with the UTW's plan to soak the medallion holders.
- However, the SFCDA wants to end the driving requirement so they can retire someday while the The List drivers want the medallions holders to either give up the medallions the instant they stop working or die soon.
- The MHA and the SFCCA would agree on some issues and not on others.
- The MHA and the companies would agree on some issues and not on others.
- etc, etc, etc
All the drivers and the companies agree on one thing: they do not want to be eaten by Newsom.
But they have an ancient motto working against them: "Divide and Conquer."
Being already so divided, how do we keep the Sun King from gobbling us up?
May I propose a new motto? "Come together - right now!"