Updated: Dec 5, 2019
Cardiff Council must “take grievances seriously”, as under-pressure taxi drivers protest in Welsh capital.
Unite Wales members working as cabbies will step up their campaign for fairer treatment with a series of protests starting today.
The first action is due to take place outside the Cardiff Councils HQ in County Hall, Cardiff Bay from 11.30am-1.30pm.
According to Unite sources, the taxi trade in Cardiff is in ‘crisis’. Members suggest it’s becoming impossible to make a living with remuneration for the vast majority well below the national minimum wage.
Union members are squaring the blame of the crisis on other taxis from outside of the city, being able to come into Cardiff city centre to seek fares. This, along with an increase in the number of taxis Plying for Hire in the Welsh city centre, has forced action from drivers.
Further grievances around mandatory greener vehicles by 2020 also persist.
Peter Hughes, Unite Wales Regional Secretary, said in the lead up to today’s protest: “Our membership amongst Cardiff taxi drivers have 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, is putting enormous pressure on taxi drivers, most of whom are working extremely long hours for a pitiful remuneration.
“Cardiff Council have a moral obligation to listen and act upon concerns that our members are raising. It is time for them to take 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 but 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.”