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Friday, August 08, 2008

Maria Dinzeo Has a Big Story for the Bay Guardian, Where She Interns

First the lead:

The largest taxicab company in San Francisco is trying to squeeze more money from its drivers, who say they're already being hit hard by increased gate fees and rising fuel costs.

Yellow Cab has ordered its drivers to prepay for the privilege of driving each month, amounting to thousands of dollars for full-time drivers. Compounding that financial hardship is the apparent intention of the company to use prepaid gate fees to change the employment status of its drivers from employees to independent contractors who are no longer entitled to unemployment insurance and workers' compensation coverage.

While local officials say Yellow Cab's new policy is illegal, they have little power to compel the company to abandon the plan, which was supposed to go into effect Aug. 15 but has now been moved to December under pressure from city officials and the United Taxicab Workers union. Drivers are also threatening to bring legal action to stop Yellow Cab, relying on a past ruling barring the company from requiring deposits from its drivers and misclassifying drivers as independent contractors.

And here's the link. I bet Maria would respond to questions about this story if we asked her nicely.

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