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Guide to the New York Taxi Workers Alliance Records WAG.319

Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY, 10012
(212) 998-2630

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive

Collection processed by Margaret Fraser in 2013

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on August 10, 2015
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Edited by Heather Mulliner to reflect updated administrative information  , Aug 2015

Descriptive Summary

Creator: New York Taxi Workers Alliance.
Title: New York Taxi Workers Alliance Records
Dates [inclusive]: 1972-2011
Dates [bulk]: Bulk, 1997-2010
Abstract: The New York Taxi Workers’ Alliance was founded in 1998 by members of the Lease Drivers Coalition (LDC), an advocacy project of the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence (CAAAV). The union, led by Executive Director Bhairavi Desai since its inception, fights for structural change in the taxi driving industry, regularly ranked by the Department of Labor as one of the most dangerous job in the country. The NYTWA supports drivers through legal advocacy, health benefits, and numerous campaigns fighting for safety and economic justice for taxi workers. Because taxi drivers are considered independent contractors, they cannot engage in collective bargaining. Despite this impediment, the NYTWA claims it has increased taxi drivers’ incomes by 35%-45%, including implementation of the first-ever Living Wage standard for US taxi drivers in 2004. The records of the New York Taxi Workers’ Alliance document the organization from its growth out of the Lease Driver Coalition (an initiative of the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence) in 1998 to its 2012 status as a national union and a member of the AFL-CIO in 2010. The records illusrtate the growth of the union in membership, funding, and media coverage, and the specific challenges of 21st century labor organizing in a transient and ethnically diverse population. The collection primarily documents the two major activities of the union: campaigns and legal services.
Quantity: 13.0 linear feet in 12 record cartons, 1 manuscript box and 1 oversized flat box
Language of Materials: Materials are primarily in English. Some materials in the collection have been translated into Spanish, Urdu, and other Indo-European languages.
Call Phrase: WAG.319
Sponsor: Processing and description work on this collection was made possible in part by a grant from the Documentary Heritage Program of the New York State Archives, a program of the State Education Department.