(CBS) — Taxi drivers in Chicago are staging a slowdown.
WBBM discovered Midway Airport virtually bereft of taxis early Thursday evening. The chairman of the United Taxi Drivers Community Council, Fayez Khozindar, said it was not an accident.
Khodzindar said Midway was “only the first stop” of a job action that he expects to spread to downtown Chicago Friday and perhaps to O’Hare Airport.
“Good luck trying to get a taxicab tomorrow,” Khozindar said.
It was not immediately clear how many of the city’s 7,000 taxicabs would be idled by any slowdown. Attempts in the past by taxi drivers to stage work slowdowns have generally been unsuccessful because the drivers have not been well-organized.
Department of Aviation spokesperson Karen Pride said the city had not been notified of any slowdown. She said taxis continue to be dispatched at O’Hare and Midway airports.
Khozindar said the initial focus was Midway.
The taxi union is demanding that legislators act first to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of legislation that would have subjected ride-sharing operations in Illinois to the same licensing, insurance and inspection requirements as taxicabs.
Ride-share operator Uber Technologies has said that if the legislation were to become law it would be forced to shut down operations in Illinois.
In addition, Khodinzar said, the taxi drivers are demanding a “living wage” and a fare increase from the city of Chicago.