Sunday, August 21, 2016

August 21, 1976 -- Cabbies Byrned over Uniforms

August 21, 1976 – The Chicago Tribune reports that nearly 100 cab drivers demonstrate at the Civic Center, protesting a ruling by the city commissioner of consumer affairs, Jane Byrne, that they must wear uniforms.  The ruling, due to take effect on September 7, causes anger among the cabbies who say that over the preceding year three drivers have been killed, seven shot, one has his throat cut, and another suffers amputation of a leg as a result of a robbery.  Uniforms will just make them a more recognizable target when they are away from their cabs, they say.  One driver says that he has to drive 16 to 18 hours a day to make a living, and that there is not enough money to buy and maintain a uniform.  Jane Guthrie, a driver for three years, says, “How can the city tell self-employed persons to wear uniforms . . . If your cab breaks down in a bad neighborhood it’s bad enough getting out without having to wear a uniform which advertises that you’re stranded and have money on you from driving.”  [Chicago Tribune, August 21, 1976]

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