The wages of half the taxicab drivers in Chicago fall short of the state's minimum wage of $8.25 an hour, a recent study from the University of Illinois at Chicago shows. And some 10 percent of city cab drivers are actually losing income after gasoline and lease expenses, the report detailed.
Those findings were included Thursday in a motion for summary judgment as part a federal class-action lawsuit filed by cabdrivers against the city. The suit argues that since the city of Chicago regulates the taxicab industry, it is therefore an employer and should ensure that cabdrivers earn at least the minimum wage. The city maintains it is not the employer of taxi drivers, and therefore is not responsible for their wages. Click through for more on the lawsuit.
“It’s pretty clear the city is in the taxi business. This isn’t someone who’s acting as a disinterested third party for public safety reasons. This is someone who is using their power to regulate taxi drivers in order to benefit from that and also in a way which impacts their income,” said an attorney representing the taxi drivers, Sean Morales-Doyle, reported the Chicago Sun-Times.
“The city is doing it to their own benefit — to the tune of $30 million-plus in a year — while drivers are earning below the minimum wage.”
Read more about the taxi driver wage report here.