New rules end boycott of airport by taxicabs
Oahu taxicab drivers are picking up passengers at Honolulu Airport again, ending a three-day boycott of airport taxi dispatcher Ampco Parking Systems.
The drivers started their boycott Sunday. They returned for airport duty at about 5 p.m. Tuesday after meeting with officials from Ampco and the state Department of Transportation, said Scott Ishikawa, transportation spokesman.
Transportation officials mediated the meeting "to get everybody back to work," he said.
At the meeting, Ampco agreed that its dispatchers will not be allowed to have cellular telephones, Ishikawa said. The drivers had complained that dispatchers used their cellular telephones to call favored drivers for lucrative fares rather than give them to the next driver in line. Drivers pay Ampco $4 per load.
The drivers also complained that they were being harassed by Ampco employees with unnecessary searches of their vehicles.
Ishikawa said Ampco will still do random, two-a-day inspections according to its contract with the state. He said the inspections are used to ensure the vehicles are operational and clean and have working air conditioners and adequate trunk space. But the drivers have formed a grievance committee to handle complaints, Ishikawa said.
Ampco took over the taxi dispatching service at Honolulu Airport on May 1, 2004. It is the first nontaxi company contracted by the state for the service. Drivers complained of favoritism when taxi companies handled the dispatching at the airport.