Ottawa

Ottawa taxi 'strike' starts Saturday but won't affect service

The company that runs the dispatch services for Blueline and Capital taxis says job action by drivers, which begins Saturday, won't have any affect on service in Ottawa.

Business as usual during job action by Blueline, Capital taxi drivers, dispatch company says

Blueline and Capital taxi drivers will continue to line up at taxi stands and receive the dispatch service despite job action beginning Aug. 1, according to Coventry Connections.

Job action by drivers at Capital and Blueline taxi companies starts Saturday but won't affect customers, according to the company that runs the dispatch service.

Unifor Local 1688, the union representing the taxi drivers, served notice to Coventry Connections on Thursday regarding the action beginning Aug. 1, according to a news release.

This means drivers will not pay Coventry for the dispatch service or for the use of private taxi stands across Ottawa, the release said.

However, the release added that Coventry will still provide the dispatch services and "allow full use" of the taxi stands.

The union and Coventry are calling this a strike, but it is not clear if there will be any impact or change for those who use taxis in Ottawa.

"With the industry facing unprecedented market challenges we had hoped to avert this action," said Coventry's president, Hanif Patni, in the release.

"That's why we offered a reduction in dispatch fees for August and September and also offered to reduce card processing fees."

Patni went on to acknowledge drivers' frustration regarding Uber calling it an "illegal car-for-hire" service, adding "we are frustrated too."

Last week, a class-action lawsuit was launched in Ontario on behalf of taxi and limousine drivers against Uber and UberX seeking $410 million in compensation and an injunction to stop Uber from running in the province.

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