Immigrant Taxi Drivers Targeted in De Blasio’s New York

Bill-de-BlasioNow that Mayor Bill de Blasio has taken office, he can reassure the nervous business community by curbing some of the election rhetoric, which some among his supporters have taken to new levels.  Mayor de Blasio told his tale of two cities from an economic standpoint, suggesting that the gap between the wealthy and poor was vast and growing exponentially.  Yet, during his inauguration the Sanitation Department’s chaplain, Rev. Fred Lucas Jr. compared New York City to a “plantation” when he delivered the invocation. The turn from a debate on economics to racism is indicative of how some will attempt to divide the people of this great city. The race-baiting began as Lucas said, “Free us from the shackles of partisan politics, political correctness and personal egos and agendas,” continuing, “Let the plantation called New York City be the city of God, a city set upon the hill, a light shining in darkness.” Is New York City a plantation where the poor are oppressed and enslaved and treated as black people were in the South prior to the Civil War? This is the atmosphere that Mayor de Blasio must oppose.

In today’s New York City, there is the taxi driver union’s Moses, Bhairavi Desai, the head of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA), an organization which represents approximately 15,000 NYC taxi drivers.  Desai is the de-facto partner of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, and together they have conspired to take hard earned money from what is really the last vestige of easy-to-find work for new immigrants.  They created what amounts to a multi-million dollar slush fund, supplied with a six cents per fare tax from every ride – about $600 per year.  This is said to be for “disability insurance and health-care navigation services.”

There is no law governing this tax, but drivers cannot refuse it.  Is that fair?  Even worse is that the fund is overseen by Desai and her group, not by healthcare experts or investment advisors.  Desai, who has always claimed to be a populist and has routinely decried capitalist values, has done what she claims big business does – takes advantage of the poor and naive.  Cab drivers work very hard; many of them came to this country to pursue the great opportunities which exist here, but are not aware of their rights and due process.

When Desai was a presenter at the Brecht Forum’s 29th Annual Intensive Introduction to Marxism, she suggested capitalism was part of the destructive waves that “mark our times and even threaten life on this planet.” She further bewailed the “complicity of capitalism in perpetuating these ills.” Yet, she readily took the near $10M deal in exchange for total acquiescence to the former TLC Chairman and former Mayor Bloomberg’s poorly devised attacks on the taxi industry. A lawsuit filed by drivers objecting to this forced tax said: “In exchange for the forced $10 million in contributions to the NYTWA’s coffers, the drivers receive ‘healthcare’ services that include neither true healthcare coverage nor services that the drivers are force to pay for.”

Bhairavi Desai is also a devoted advocate for the “Cuba, Palestine, and El Salvador solidarity movements.” These “solidarity” movements are largely anti-American — and the types of places many of her member drivers run away from to pursue their American dream. Hard-working cab drivers of New York City, often immigrants, come to this country to make a better life for their families, not to rail against the greatness of capitalism, but to pursue it.  They are subject to a policy that lines the leadership coffers at their expense, much like the reasons Marxism failed globally.

Mayor de Blasio should take the helm as a strong captain and put every New Yorker on notice that racism – and Marxism – is out of bounds.

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  • victoryman

    ……The chaplain from the Sanitation Department…….how fitting.

  • hatsylady

    Bill is an Angry Red Giant. New York, you asked for it, you got it.

    • carpe diem 36

      i hope they get what they deserve for voting in this peace of ….

      • carpe diem 36

        meant to say piece of…..
        sorry about the typo

      • Eugene Weixel

        The taxi drivers never had a union election. If Desai has 1/10 the membership that gets tossed around then I am the Sultan of Oman.

  • dude

    the health tax for cab drivers was started when Bloomberg was still in office well before the mayoral election. it is —NOT— a de blasio tax. shame on frontpagemag.

    • Richie

      Guess you cant read. He says its a Bloomberg tax – and Desai the Marxist continues on.

      • aemoreira81

        Even to say that it’s a Bloomberg tax is disingenuous…the tax was imposed by the state.

        • dude

          it is imposed by the tlc, a city agency.

          • aemoreira81

            Who granted that authority? Albany.

          • dude

            All you’re establishing is that it is a Cuomo-Bloomberg tax.

  • carpe diem 36

    this is too disgusting to read.

  • Jeff Ludwig

    DiBlasio should say Marxism is out of bounds? I’m assuming the author is being sarcastic. DiBlasio will embrace Desai as an ideological sister. The taxi drivers will continue to be screwed.

    • jackcb

      This would be hard to believe since most of those “immigrant” cab drivers are ILLEGAL immigrants and they are sacrosanct in NYC

      • Hack#

        That’s idiotic. You are required to prove legal residency to drive a cab in NYC.

        • jackcb

          The hell you are!! We’re talking NYC here, a sanctuary city!

  • Nothindas

    Bhairavi Desai is a simple Marxist – how can this woman oversee anything with government? unreal and sickening

    • Ghost

      As are a rapidly growing contingent of Indians, especially Indian women.

      • Eugene Weixel

        In all fairness this scam was concevied under the Bloomberv regime as a political payoff to Desai. See my other post on this thread.

  • Andy_Lewis

    More pro-immigrant BS from the “Right” wing of The Corporate Party.

  • aemoreira81

    This tax was imposed by the state—not the city—in the same bill that introduced the sales and use tax policy. The only tax that NYC controls directly is the property tax.

  • Steve Chervenka

    No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. I know Bhairavi and couldn’t be prouder of someone who has taken on the powers-to be for taxi drivers to work for a living against the hardships imposed by regulators, unscrupulous brokers and medallion owners using the independent contractor agreement and outdated laws for tax shelters. This article uses logic tricks to make a point that is devoid of all the information for the reader to understand the real issues. Thank God Bhairavi was embraced by the AFL-CIO.

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  • Hank Rearden

    Fat chance. The whole POINT of Marxism is to loot the proles.

  • Hack#

    Don’t be absurd. I’ve been a taxi driver for over ten years. You need to produce not only your driver’s license, but also your original social security card. Look at the TLC’s own application online (and before you ask, all of these things have to be be presented in person when you sign up) if you don’t believe me.

  • Eugene Weixel

    I am a veteran New York taxi driver. Over my lifetime (I am 68 years old next month) I have been a union activist and involved in progressive causes. Like thousands of other taxi drivers I have been subjected to the six cent a ride Bloomberg to Desai political payoff extortion tax since October first 2013. I can assure one and all that the ttaxi drivers have receivex zero benefit of any sort from this stillborn and non existent program. I challenge you and or Desai or de Blasio to meet me at five pm on Tuesday April first at the flagpole in front of City Hall and show that I am a liar.

    Details of the scam can be found at

  • nyctuber

    So we now know that the reason the Driver’s Fund hasn’t been implemented is the City is concerned about lawsuits. If/when implemented, it will (among other things) provide 6 Months benefits ($300-$350/mo) to drivers injured on or off the job. I’d say that’s pretty great for what amounts to a little over $1 a day (yes, I drive a cab in NYC, this is an accurate number). So, for all the nonsensical ramblings about Desai being a dangerous ‘Marxist,’ she and the NYTWA are pretty much the only ones out there fighting for cab drivers. The Fund, and a recent long needed raise. Yep.