Taxi protest not affecting cab wait, says Calgary airport

The Calgary Airport Authority says it's a regular day in spite of a work stoppage by some taxi drivers.

But clashes continue between Associated Cab drivers and managers

Some passengers say they had to wait in a long lineup for a taxi at the Calgary airport Monday morning, but an airport spokesperson says a 20 minute wait is normal during peak times. (Kyle Bakx/CBC)

The Calgary Airport Authority says it's a regular day in spite of a work stoppage by some taxi drivers.

Some taxi drivers from Associated Cab, which holds the exclusive contract to pick up passengers at Calgary's airport, told CBC News they want the company to bring back two drivers who were fired following a wildcat strike at the airport last week.

The head of the company has said he will not re-instate the two drivers.

Passengers waited at least 20 minutes to catch a cab or sedan at the airport Monday morning, prompting complaints from people worried about being late for work.

"I'm considering maybe a lawnmower or something to get downtown. I need to get to work," said Alex Babeanu.

But airport spokesperson Jody Mosely said the taxi driver protest is not affecting travel time.

"I think it's normal waiting time. During peak times there's usually a few minutes delay when we have a large influx of passengers or aircraft coming in from different destinations, but I would say it's business as usual at the airport," she said. "It might be a little slower ... during some of those peak times. But by and large people are able to get both sedan and taxi service at YYC."

Wildcat strike in August

This is the third time this year that drivers have stopped picking up passengers at the airport.

"This is not a good thing to be on strike all the time. We should make money. We have to pay the bills. But when you create a situation where you cannot work, you cannot work," said driver Laique Khan.

Around 300 Associated Cab drivers walked off the job in August to protest the dismissal of a fellow driver and raise issues about working conditions at the Calgary airport. 

The taxi drivers also wanted all cab companies to be allowed to do pickups at the airport and for drivers to be able to decide whether they want to be on airport duty.

The Calgary Airport Authority had signed a six-year contract in 2010 with Associated Cab to cover taxi service at the airport with no competition.


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