Austin cab drivers are joining
a national union to
stop what spokesman Dave Passmore
calls lousy wages
and working conditions. He
says leasing a cab is expensive,
payments they make even if they
aren't called for a fare.

"We have to pay our lease
and a 24 hour lease from
Yellow Cab can run from
$588.00 a week," says Passmore.

"That's $2200.00 a month
and therefore the driver must
pay this on a weekly basis
and sometimes there is nothing
to put in your pocket; we start everyday at a negative."

Their group,
the Drivers Association
of Austin would join
the National Taxi Workers Alliance.

Passmore says no word yet
if San Antonio drivers
plan to join.

Passmore adds that insurance covers passengers but not drivers and some drive
12 or 15 hours a day.

"There are times when the city council
regulates our meter and if they give us
a 10 cent increase on the meter,
then the lease may go up, up to $3.00."

Passmore says Yellow Cab
and other employers aren't