Some local cabbies are taking a stand and refusing to promote a major event in the area.
The protest centers around signs promoting the Gay Games that are on top of airport cabs.
Some drivers, for religious reasons, are refusing to drive the cabs. And we're told these are predominantly drivers of the Muslim faith.
19 Action News reporter Brian Duffy spoke with about 20 cabbies at the airport who are still driving and all of them confirmed there are drivers who have walked off the job on protest. Representatives of AmeriCab, one of the three cab companies on the job at the airport, also confirmed the protest but say only one of their drivers has been reassigned.
We're told at least 16-17 drivers who work for Ace Taxi, another company working out of the airport, are no longer driving.
We went to Ace but were told they were too busy to talk to us.
Yellow Cab, a third cab company at the airport, never returned our calls.
Tom Nobbe, the executive director of the games, says he's a bit disappointed.
"When you look at what's going on around the world it's not a huge surprise. In some parts of the world LGBT folks are not very welcome," said Tom Nobbe of the Gay Games.
Disappointed yes but Tom Nobbe still believes the games will be a huge success.
"Even though there will be a handful of folks who are not comfortable the vast majority and we're seeing it now are totally enthusiastic and ready to welcome all these folks into town," added Nobbe.
Today, two of the three taxi cab companies (Ace and Yellow Taxi Cab) operating from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) were informed by several of their drivers they will no longer participate in the airport's (CLE) dedicated taxi cab program. The drivers informed their respective companies their decision was based on religious reasons. The airport is committed to providing this necessary customer service to our arriving passengers seeking transportation from the airport to their final destination. An agreement has been brokered by the airport between the taxi cab stand operator, Standard Parking, and the affected taxi cab companies that will allow for the replacement of those drivers who no longer wish to participate in CLE's taxi cab program. The affected taxi cab companies will backfill the airport's dedicated fleet with metered taxi cabs until each company can hire permanent drivers for the airport's taxi cab program. It is expected to take approximately two to three weeks to repopulate the airport's Taxi fleet.
Statement by Airport Director Ricky Smith
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