Excluded Worker Project is a social venture grounded in the belief that all workers have a fundamental human right to labor under equitable working conditions and to receive livable earnings. To this end, the EWP partners with taxicab drivers to provide high quality technical assistance designed to strengthen cabdrivers’ ability to take the lead in redefining the value of their labor and their rights as workers.
Why cabdrivers: Cabdrivers, who are commonly classified as independent contractors, do not receive basic worker protections or benefits such as sick leave and health or workers compensation insurance. Despite this classification however, most cabdrivers must pay their parent cab company a daily or weekly fee for use of a company-owned cab and/or a company-owned credential (such as a medallion) that allows an ordinary car to be used as a cab. These fees commonly amount to more than 50 percent of drivers’ annual earnings which the U.S. Department of Labor places at $21,000 or $34,000 for the highest 10%.
Our foundation: At the foundation of EWP is the participatory reform model successfully applied by cabdrivers in Alexandria, VA (2003-2005) and Prince George’s County MD (2007-2010). This reform model was developed by EWP founder M. Aurora Vasquez, J.D., a former community based civil rights attorney with more than a decade of experience in the immigrant justice, workers, and voting rights fields.
Listen to Aurora talk economic opportunity for cabdrivers (at 17:32 minutes): http://thefightback.org/2013/06/the-taxi-link-aurora-vasquez-discusses-driver-organizing-in-prince-georges-alexandria-and-arlington/