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Toronto Taxi Alliance says it doesn't support another potential strike

Last Updated Aug 5, 2016 at 12:43 pm EDT

While some Toronto taxi drivers are considering staging another protest in the city, the Toronto Taxi Alliance said it does not support a potential strike.

The United Taxi Workers Association is floating the idea of another rolling cab protest, possibly in September and just in time for the Toronto International Film Festival.

The association said Uber drivers are ignoring the new regulations that were put in place by city hall in May, and that the rules are not being enforced by the city.

Last December, hundreds of taxi drivers rolled down downtown streets, snarling traffic for hours. Demonstrations like this one came as the taxi industry pushed for regulations to even the playing field for drivers competing with Uber.

However, the Toronto Taxi Alliance said it does not want to see another cab protest on the streets.

“No, we do not support work stoppages and we will continue to work through the legal system,” Rita Smith, executive director of the Toronto Taxi Alliance, said on Wednesday.

She said the issue is they feel that Uber has not yet begun to play by the rules.

“We do want to see Uber in compliance. In order for Uber to be in compliance, that means they’re going to have to show proof of insurance, which frankly doesn’t exist yet,” Smith explained.

Related stories:

Council gives green light for Uber to operate legally in Toronto

Uber can now apply to license its drivers

Uber granted taxi brokerage licence

In May, city council passed new bylaws that required Uber drivers to get vehicle inspections and register their criminal background checks, which is what cabbies have to do.

Those rules went into effect two weeks ago, but the head of United Taxi Workers Association said Uber is not complying and the city isn’t helping.

“Either they’re not doing it or they’re not enforcing it, it’s the same thing to us. We have seen nothing on the streets,” Paul Sekhon, the group’s president, said on Tuesday.

“We’ve been sitting here patiently […], just sitting and waiting for city officials to get this done.”

The taxi group is set to meet on Thursday, as part of its first step to decide what kind of job action they’ll be launching.

A spokesperson with Uber Canada said they are working with the city but did not address the taxi group’s allegations.

“We have applied for our PTC (Private Transportation Company) licence and look forward to receiving it from the City of Toronto soon,” Jean-Christophe de Le Rue said in a statement. “The city has a phased application process and we expect to fulfill each phase as it becomes available.”

With files from Momin Qureshi

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