The Sacramento City Council passed a controversial ordinance this week that requires taxi drivers to be able to speak basic English.
However, a local taxi union claims the new law is racist and will cost jobs in the California city.
“Maybe they can’t read English, but they can understand, and they can answer the question and where the customer needs to go,” Kazman Zaidi, president of the Sacramento Taxicab Union, told CBS Sacramento (video below).
“If they don’t pass this English test, they have to lose their job, you know?” added Zaidi. “And they will be out of business. Why is the city causing trouble for our cab drivers? This is really discrimination.”
The other new laws passed by the city council require that taxi cabs not be older than eight years and drivers wear professional clothing. The city dropped a proposed requirement that would have forced taxi drivers to be hygienically clean.
“The whole point is from the passenger’s perspective so that they can communicate with the driver, and get to where they need to go,” said Sacramento City Revenue Manager Brad Wasson, noted the Daily Mail.
“We want them to succeed, and we want to bring them along so they can serve public better, and pass the test and thrive,” added Wasson.
Sources: Daily Mail and CBS Sacramento