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Montgomery County Cab Drivers Join Forces With National Union

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This weekend the Montgomery County Professional Drivers Union officially joined forces with the National Taxi Workers Alliance of the AFL-CIO.
WAMU/Lauren Landau
This weekend the Montgomery County Professional Drivers Union officially joined forces with the National Taxi Workers Alliance of the AFL-CIO.

A union representing taxi drivers in Montgomery County is now part of a larger alliance.

More than 100 cabbies gathered at Silver Spring Library this weekend as the Montgomery County Professional Drivers Union officially joined forces with the National Taxi Workers Alliance of the AFL-CIO.

Peter Ibik, the president of the local union and a driver for the largest cab company in the county, led the effort to unionize after identifying what he calls "common problems" in the industry, including low wages, high fees on credit card transactions and unethical business practices. In an emotional speech, he asked attendees to educate others and stay committed to the cause.

"Those cab company owners have money. Who give them the money? We do! Every day. We give them the money and we go home empty handed. Yeah they have money. We don't have money," he said.

But Ibik says the issue goes beyond the cab companies. He says the union also needs to take on Montgomery County and eventually Uber, though he says the ride-sharing company isn't a top concern at the moment.

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