San Francisco cabbies should be treated as workers 

The letter from Luxor Cab management on June 17 had some misstatements and evasions. The electronic waybill that drivers are kicking about is not the same thing as GPS tracking. Until now, all the companies have used only the traditional paper waybill filled out by the taxi driver.

Furthermore, the letter admits that drivers are losing at least $20 to $40 a week for credit or debit card charges that used to be entirely absorbed by the cab companies, and it has no answer as to why they are charging a transaction fee two to four times the normal amount.

Taxi drivers aren’t exactly the best-paid workers, but they are easy targets for profiteers and even a few don’t-give-a-damn supervisors who whine about not always getting a cab when it’s rush hour.

If the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency wants to milk cab drivers and cab permits to cover its deficits and excess payouts, the rest of city government should not be complicit. It should proclaim that our cab drivers are workers, not “independent contractors,” and ought to have the rights and protections as other workers.

Richard Hack, San Francisco

Spending feedback loop

The City is broke. Social services are being cut back. City employees are taking pay freezes and paying more into their pension plans.

Yet the Board of Supervisors wants $1 million so that each member can hire a third aide. For what, so that they can concoct more legislation to spend even more money? No wonder people are fed up.

Bill Terheyden, San Francisco

Solution for suicide net

The June 29 letter, “Don’t spend millions on suicide net for bridge,” makes a good cost-benefit case for not building the Golden Gate Bridge barrier. But the solution is simple.

Have the Bridge District set up an escrow account for public donations, and when it hits $4 million, commission the engineering study. When that study is completed, set up a new escrow account for the actual cost.

All those who support the suicide net can now hand over their money.

Jim Cowan, San Francisco

Pay cut for Congress

During the Great Depression, members of Congress voluntarily took a pay cut. This is something that President Barack Obama should urge this Congress to do as well.

Federal employees have had their wages frozen for two years, and so the only honorable response would be for Congress to take a pay cut to help make up for its own mismanagement of the economy.

Elected representatives are supposed to be our servants, not the other way around. It is time for the House members to stop acting like royalty and do some work for a change.

Paul Page, San Francisco

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