CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago cabbies have created what could charitably be called a sexy calendar, to help pay for a lawsuit against the city.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports the pin-up calendar was created by Melissa Callahan, who started driving a taxi about five years ago.
She acknowledged most Chicagoans probably don’t think of the average cab driver as sexy.
“No, most of the time they don’t,” she said.
A photo of Callahan in an evening gown graces the cover of the calendar, and is a bit easier on the eyes than the guys on the pages inside.
“You look at it, you’re thinking you’re getting a glamorous calendar,” she said.
Bill Burns, who is Mr. December, is shown sitting on his cab with his shirt open. He swore he wasn’t inebriated for the shot.
“Cab drivers are some of the most interesting people there are, because we’re mavericks,” he said.
The calendars sell for $15 each. The money will help pay for a federal lawsuit against the city, seeking to have all Chicago cab drivers declared city employees.
“They [city officials] determine how much we’re able to charge for the meter. They determine how much we pay for the lease,” Callahan said.
If a judge agrees that cab drivers are city employees – rather than self-employed – they would have to be paid at least minimum wage – rather than relying on making a profit by pulling in enough fares to cover their out-of-pocket costs like gas, leases, and upkeep.
Callahan, Burns, and other cabbies have argued the low meter rate the city allows cabs to charge is not enough to cover the lease rate drivers must pay to their company. Cabbies also generally have to pay for their own gas, airport taxes, and other basic expenses.
“We’re just being drained constantly, and I’ve been driving 40 years, and this is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” Burns said.