Cabs and Capitalism in New York City
"Mathew, as a member of the Organizing Committee of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, has a unique perspective on the plight of immigrant taxi drivers. . . . Mathew explores the history of New York's taxicab industry, which has been in a cycle of corruption and reform since the Depression. The book culminates in an essay on globalization, immigration, racism, and the false veneer of multiculturalism in neoliberal society."—Booklist
"Mathew describes the grim economics of driving the ubiquitous yellow cabs—a job where most of the money goes to the cab company owners and where even minor problems, such as a few tickets or a short illness, can spell disaster for drivers."—Financial Times
"Jump aboard this fast-paced ride through the ins and outs of the taxi industry in New York City and sit up front with the 40,000 cabbies who are overworked, underpaid, and routinely harassed, but have come together to improve their lot. . . . Fasten your seatbelt, grip the dashboard, and enjoy the trip."—Morning Star (U.K.)
"Drivers' narratives in Taxi! can be riveting, inspiring, and upsetting all at the same time. . . . Their tales penetrate deep into the exploitive nature of the taxi industry. . . . In describing precisely how a group of seemingly powerless immigrant workers flexed their muscles, Taxi! critiques the labor movement and the broader movement for social justice."—Left Turn
Driving a cab has long attracted recent immigrants and others at the margins of the economy. In recent years, however, the working conditions and the nature of cab ownership have changed. As Biju Mathew reveals in this lively account of the benefits and hardships in the lives of today's taxi drivers, just about everything has changed dramatically except the yellow paint. At once a passionate declaration of worker solidarity and an ethnography of work, Taxi! is a compelling narrative of the lives of immigrant taxi drivers in New York City. This updated edition covers the formation of the International Taxi Workers Alliance, the unusual collaboration with the Central Labor Council, and 2007 taxi strikes protesting New York City's plan requiring taxicabs to install costly global positioning systems and credit-card machines.