Taxi dispatchers in Ottawa, members of CUPE 4266, are entering their second week on the picket line having walked out on strike New Years Eve. The dispatchers, who take calls and dispatch cabs for the company that serves almost all the taxis in town, are fighting for a living wage and a benefit plan.
Earlier this week, National President Paul Moist rallied picketers, pledging the continued support of members across the country. Spirits were high among strikers and supporters who welcomed the backing and media attention brought by Moists visit.
Your fight is one that millions of Canadians struggle with every day wages that are not enough to make a living on, non-existent benefits, and an employer that is unwilling to respect your work, Moist told the picketers. Together we say no to poverty wages and jobs where getting sick is a luxury.
The 47 workers are on strike for the first time against Coventry Connections ZipTrack Dispatch Centre, trying to get their first CUPE contract. They receive no benefits and start at $8.18 an hour, increasing to the top rate of $11.71 after 14 years.
The dispatchers brought in the New Year on the picket line with their families, flanked by taxi drivers and their cabs parked in support. Marathon negotiations broke off only an hour before midnight, with ZipTrack unwilling to budge.
You can learn more about the strike and send a message to the companys owner at taxistrike.ca.