Addison Lee minicab drivers protest claiming sweatshop conditions at Luton Airport

Addison Lee drivers protested claiming “sweatshop conditions” working for the minicab giants at Luton airport. The protest called by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain’s (IWGB) United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD) branch took place on Tuesday March 5, started at Luton Airport Roundabout, followed by a go slow drive over to Luton Council on George Street followed then by a demonstration outside the council offices.

The drivers are calling on Luton Council to use the licensing powers to enforce legal workers rights of drivers.

Private hire drivers in the region are angry claiming “sweatshop conditions” at Addison Lee, with their take home pay having fallen below minimum wage. Analysis by the UPHD shows that Addison Lee drivers working often 70 hours or more per week earn little more than £1000, but after £270 in vehicle rent and 35% commission taken by Addison Lee are deducted, along with other associated costs such as fuel, drivers take home only around £225 per week in pay. Sohail Choudhary, Chair of the Luton UPHD branch, said: “Drivers such as myself working for Addison Lee at Luton Airport have been reduced to working in sweatshop conditions and yet we can barely scrape by. “The Council is the ultimate owner of Luton airport, benefiting from a lucrative contract that gives Addison Lee exclusive rights to operate at the airport, while having a responsibility as a licensing authority to ensure drivers like myself are not mistreated. “It is a disgrace how Addison Lee treat their workers, and it is vital that Luton Council use their licensing powers and intervene to ensure our worker rights are protected.” The protest follows on from a protest at Luton Airport on Monday, February 4, where drivers protested the pay and conditions working for Addison Lee. 

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