NYSFTD urges members to eat healthy food

NYSFTD urges members to eat healthy food

Moses Kuwema 

The New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers (NYSFTD) has urged its members to eat healthy food as they go about their business.

In an interview with Parkchester Times, NYSFTD spokesperson, Fernando Mateo, said taxi drivers were not the healthiest of people.

Fernando said this is in response to the question posed to him regarding the number of COVID-19 related fatalities that have been recorded among NYSFTD members. 

"We have lost probably 20 to 30 drivers but that is nothing compared to the amount of drivers that exist you know.

"These drivers were sick to begin with. A lot of people that have died, have died because they were in poor health," he said. 

"Drivers are very unhealthy people. They don't eat right. They don't take care of themselves. They sit in the car all day, they eat. 

"They're not the healthiest people. Believe me when I tell you. We fight with them all the time, telling them to take care of themselves and they don't," said Mateo.

Mateo said about 20 percent of the drivers in the industry were infected with COVID-19.

"So once they get infected....Those that are in poor health are gonna die. For many of them that got it are now good. They have antibodies," said Mateo. 

"The drivers have been protecting themselves, they have put glasses in some cases but you know they are not considered essential workers and that is what we don't like. 

They should be considered essential workers because they are transporting people that are sick. It is a shame that they're not considered essential workers," he said. 

Mateo said because of the continued exposure to COVID-19 that taxi drivers were subjected to through the transportation of passengers, NYSFTD had asked Pfizer to consider giving some of its vaccines to the drivers.

On working during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mateo said the virus has made things very difficult for his members.

"Our members are working for Uber and Lyft. They're ok and are doing what they are supposed to do. It's new technology. They simply work for lyft, Uber and other car services. They have different options now. Uber is hurting the yellow cab drivers but not the livery drivers. Not easy for anybody right now," said Mateo.

And Mateo said even though getting robbed, assaulted was a normal thing for taxi drivers, the situation has been made worse with the violence that was going on around the city.

Getting robbed, assaulted, attacked is a normal operation of a taxi driver. That's part of the job. It's not easy. With all the violence that is going on now, certainly the situation is not improving. This administration has hurt the entire city. It's certainly not helping out the drivers for sure," said Mateo. 

"The police have to be funded. Bail reform should be looked at. They should look at protecting the victims, not the criminals.

Criminals have more rights than victims right now. When people engage in violent activities, nothing happens," concluded Mateo.