Hotel Doormen in Taxi Shakedown Racket

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Photo: nypost.com

In New York, there are several natural pairs in the service industry — groups of workers you assume would look out for one another because, hey, they're all in it together. Waiters and busboys, for example. Dog walkers and street sweepers. Prostitutes and dry cleaners. We definitely would have put cab drivers and hotel doormen on that list, too: They both have to carry luggage for people who don't tip well, and they both have incredibly boring jobs where they aren't even allowed to talk on the phone to their friends to pass the time (and let's not get into how they go to the bathroom). But not so! The Post tells us that hotel doormen are actually the enemies of cab drivers. Apparently, there's a racket where porters at the city's fanciest hotels shake down hacks for kickbacks, and blacklist them if they refuse to pay up by passing them over for fares or hailing black cabs instead. Drivers will pay as much as $5 for La Guardia, $10 for JFK, and $15 for Newark, according to the Post, but the racket is not a crime. Just remember it next time you see a hotel doorman walk around to the street side of the cab to "talk to" the cab driver. He's probably getting five to fifteen times whatever you stuffed in his white-gloved hand.

Bribe, they said [NYP]