10 Pearson Airport taxi and limo drivers dead: union president

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The Airport Taxi Association is calling it “scary” as at least 10 taxi and limo drivers working out of Pearson International Airport have died since the beginning of COVID-19 was officially declared a pandemic.

Three drivers have died since Friday.

According to the Toronto Star, those drivers include Karam Singh Punian (who ran for Mississauga council), who died Monday, and Akashdip Grewal, who died Friday.

Both Punian and Grewal drove for the airport limo company Aerofleet, according to The Star.

Rajinder Aujla is the president of the Airport Taxi Association, which represents about 700 drivers operating out of Pearson. He said more should have been done to protect the drivers, especially when driving people who have been travelling all over the world.

It’s not clear whether any of the drivers contracted the virus while on the job.

In March, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which governs which vehicles run out of Pearson, relaxed requirements that all taxis and limos operating out of Pearson Airport do so on a continuous basis.

The union, however, said most drivers are simply choosing not to work. They say only two out of 115 cars are operating while the demand has minimized substantially.

The GTAA, meanwhile, extended its “deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the drivers who have passed away”.

Person International Airport says it has offered to help drivers get personal protective equipment while encouraging drivers to make safety changes to their vehicles.

The Airport Taxi Association says drivers are wearing masks and sanitizing cars after every drop-off.

As of May 6, there were 62,046 confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Canada.

Ontario had 18,310 confirmed cases, including 1,361 deaths. 12,779 cases were resolved.

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