Judge dismisses taxi drivers’ union lawsuit against Kenner
KENNER, La. — A state court judge on Tuesday denied a request by the local taxi union for a court order that Kenner enforce a city occupational license law against Uber drivers.
Taxi drivers pay $50 annually to legally operate in the city of Kenner, and the taxi drivers’ union claimed in a lawsuit that the ordinance unfairly favored Uber and Lyft drivers.
The judge’s ruling effectively kills the lawsuit filed against the city of Kenner. Cab drivers in New Orleans won a similar lawsuit alleging unfair business practices.
Kenner’s attorneys argued that the city is enforcing its occupational license law with regard to Uber drivers in the same exact way that the law is enforced for any other business domiciled in the city. The taxi union claimed Kenner’s ordinance favored Uber and Lyft drivers.
“Right now, my administration is developing processes to implement the council’s new ordinance,” Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn said. “I am grateful that the court seemed to understand that. We will continue to encourage the taxi drivers and the TNC drivers to work with us as we pursue a common sense approach to transportation options.”
Kenner cab drivers and AFSCME Local 234 expressed disappointment with the judge’s decision.
“Of course we are disappointed, but we will continue to work toward and fight for a level playing field between taxi drivers and app-based drivers,” said Niran Gunaskera, President of AFSCME Local 234 and cab driver of 33 years.