Fort McMurray taxi drivers are planning to halt service in protest of new meter rates.
With every cab company in the city represented, hundreds of cabbies converged for a downtown meeting this afternoon to decide on a date for a strike.
The sector is planning a strike in protest of new meter rates, they return the tariff to what it was 15 years ago.
Abdihanan Hussein recently launched a $1.8 million lawsuit against the municipality for driver endangerment and loss wages.
He tells Fort McMurray News the labour stoppage could happen anytime.
"Then drivers, we elected representatives for each company and they will stay in this hotel tonight and they will then call us with a decision, it could be tonight, it could be tomorrow, it could be Monday, but this strike it will shut down this city."
The taxi tariff in Fort McMurray used to be $1.93, but with the approval of the new Vehicle for Hire Bylaws, drivers are making less than $1.43 per km.
Local driver Aiman Jaber says although it may be only a 50 cent cut to the rate, the change means he will barely scrape by.
"I came to Fort McMurray like everyone else that comes here, to basically make money, I'm not looking to make alot of money, just enough so I can support my family, I have a daughter and a wife. And this new meter rate, honestly what can I say? I work all day long from morning until night just to make enough income now."
The New Vehicle for Hire bylaw, which came into effect on October 1st, has prompted taxi sector protests in the past, but drivers say that this time, with all the local companies involved, it will be outright labour stoppage.
Driver Abdel Daquh tells Fort McMurray News, the new legislation has crystallized drivers frustrations, and pointed them directly at city hall.
"Before drivers were lost, before they didn't know what to do, who to fight, where to get their rights, every meeting that I came to before the drivers would blame the United owners, the Access owners, the Sun Taxi owners, and I would always stand up and criticize them and tell them that it's not the fault of the United owners, Sun taxi owners or Access Taxi owners, and now I'm happy because the blame is in the right spot."
To put the 50 cent cut into context, that means drivers here will be making the same as their counterparts in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where the cost of living pales in comparison.