Bhairavi Desai : organizing immigrant labor through a feminist lens

Lovin, C. Laura and Trigg, Mary K. (2016) Bhairavi Desai : organizing immigrant labor through a feminist lens. In: Junctures in Women's Leadership. Junctures: Case Studies in Women's Leadership . Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, pp. 195-216. ISBN 9780813565996

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Abstract

Bhairavi Desai founded the New York Taxi Workers Alliance in 1998, when she twenty-six years old. She initiated a strike that year, to protest new rules imposed by then-mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The strike mobilized forty thousand licensed taxi drivers, who protested proposed regulations then sough to quadruple liability-insurance costs, increase fines, implement a longer probationary period, and mandate drug and alcohol testing. The strike kept the city-s yellow cabs off the street for twenty-four hours. Desai fought to make the voices of the taxi workers heard and to reframe the drivers into knowledgeable and invested parties in conversation with the power brokers in the city. She queried, "Who, may I ask, knows more about safety and driving than a driver?... Who is most interested in driving being a safe occupation? Who is most affected by these rules? The answer to all these questions is 'the yellow-cab driver.'".