taxis

Cardiff taxi drivers to protest at Cardiff council “lack of action” on grievances

Unite members working as taxi drivers in Cardiff will step up their campaign for fair treatment with a series of protests. These will commence with a protest outside Cardiff council’s headquarters in County Hall, Cardiff Bay, from 11.30-13.30 on Wednesday (4 December 2019).

Cardiff’s taxi trade is in crisis. Due to the ability of taxis from outside of the city being able to come into Cardiff to seek fares (known as cross-bordering), there has been a massive increase in taxis plying for work within the city. As a result it has become almost impossible for many taxi drivers to make a living from driving. For the vast majority their remuneration is well below the national minimum wage.

In addition to cross-bordering there are other significant issues which Cardiff city council has responsibility that are of serious concern for Unite members. The most prominent of these is the implementation of Euro 6 vehicle emissions compliance for taxis by 2021. This means that older taxis have to be replaced with greener vehicles with little financial assistance. Further the implementation of the council’s “fit and proper driver criteria” is discriminating to Cardiff drivers because it is not being implemented universally across Wales.

Speaking ahead of the demonstration, Peter Hughes, Unite Wales regional secretary, commented: “Our membership amongst Cardiff taxi drivers has a number of legitimate and serious concerns that are not being addressed by Cardiff council. Unite has tried to engage in dialogue with elected members of the council and its officials but very little progress has been made. Frustration is now at such high levels that our members feel that there are very few options left open to them to ensure their voice is heard.

“The council must recognise that due to the high numbers of taxis operating within the city, alongside the significant regulations they have introduced, there is enormous pressure on taxi drivers, most of whom are working extremely long hours for a pitiful remuneration.

“Cardiff council has a moral obligation to listen and act upon the concerns that our members are raising. It is time for the council to take these grievances seriously and engage in meaningful and sustained dialogue with Unite in order to finally resolve these festering issues.

“Our members will not accept the continued lack of action by Cardiff council any more. They are prepared to engage in an escalating series of protests in the coming months if they continue to be ignored.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  • The protest by Cardiff taxi drivers will take place from 11.30-13:30 on Wednesday 4 December outside Cardiff Councils Offices in Cardiff Bay, CF10 4UW.
  • Taxi Drivers and Unite Officials will be available for interview.
  • For further information please contact Glyn Conolly on 07974 131771.
  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.

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Never have we needed a government that serves the people as much as we do now. When Labour wins, Unite members win." 

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