Dear Lord! All the Cabs are Gone

Drivers will stay home to honor those killed on the job

We've heard of Jesus as a co-pilot, but calling off work for reverence is new to us.

But several of Chicago's 12,000 taxi drivers are doing just that: staying home for a "day of prayer and meditation" to honor drivers who have been killed on the job and to draw attention to the daily dangers cabbies face traversing Chicago's streets.

The pray day is non-denominational and was organized by cabbies and the Chicago Dispatcher, a monthly trade publication that covers the industry.

"We're at a point where logic and reasoning aren't working with the city of Chicago," George Lutfallah, the magazine's publisher, said during a press conference this week. "Maybe calling on a higher power will help us."

Lutfallah emphasized that the movement was not a strike. While drivers are also currently petitioning for a 24-percent fare increase, organizers of the day of prayer say it's not related.

"It's not a strike.We're not trying to cause any damage to the city," said Lutfallah. "We're trying to raise awareness to the serious problems that we have here."

"You have a greater chance of being murdered as a taxi driver than any other profession," said Luftallah. "Second is police officer."

Since 1988, more than 50 cab drivers have been murdered while on the job. This disturbing statistic is especially poignant in the wake of Blackhawks player Patrick Kane's alleged attack on a taxi driver for not having 20 cents change.

Matt Bartosik is a "between blogs" blogger.

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