Ottawa airport taxi dispute hits 2-month mark
270 families struggling to make ends meet as labour dispute drags on, union says
Haroun Dwaydar has been without a full paycheque for two month as the Ottawa airport taxi labour dispute drags on — forcing the 61-year-old to ask his children to pay his mortgage and other bills.
"I feel terrible. It makes me uncomfortable," he said.
His wife Wafad Dwaydar added, "asking a child for help, that's like you're stripping your heart from your chest."
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Dwaydars told CBC News they can't afford to live on the $250 a week they're getting from the union — and they're not alone.
Unifor, the taxi drivers' union, said that more than 270 families are affected by the labour dispute.
Airport taxi drivers have been locked out of the stand at the arrivals level as they refuse to pay the new pick-up fee charged by the dispatcher, Coventry Connections, for the exclusive right to pick up at the airport.
Airport drivers used to pay a monthly fee of $345 to the dispatcher, which the dispatcher says would amount to about $1.50 to $2 per fare. The new plan, negotiated between the dispatcher and the Ottawa International Airport Authority, has drivers paying $4.50 per fare instead of a monthly fee.
About 100 airport tax drivers and their supporters marched through downtown Ottawa Friday in protest of the raised fees.