HAMILTON – A protracted legal disagreement stretching over two years has finally concluded and the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) has certified the Ontario Taxi Workers Union (OTWU) as the official negotiating mediator for drivers of Blue Line Transportation services in Hamilton.
The past few years had been frustrating ones in Blue Line’s push to form a union as the transportation service’s appeals had been repeatedly postponed.
The cabbies initially organized to join the Ontario Taxi Workers Union in 2010, but their efforts to be recognized by the OLRB had been delayed ever since. As part of a provisional agreement between the two unions, the United Steelworkers’ (USW) legal team argued the case on behalf of the OTWU. The Steelworkers’ Union has applauded the OLRB ruling and commends the Ontario Taxi Workers Union on its most recent victory.
“We are delighted to have won this hard-fought battle to unite Blue Line taxi drivers,” remarked Faheem Shahid, current President of the Ontario Taxi Workers Union. “This is about justice and dignity for all Hamilton taxi drivers. United with our union brothers and sisters at Hamilton Cab, we now have a strong voice to make sure the taxi industry works for all of us,” said Shahid.
Blue Line drivers, the latest members of the OTWU, have already opened talks to negotiate their first contract.