Unite’s campaign calling for the Welsh Government to provide a financial package of support for the Welsh taxi trade has been gathering early support.
Last week the union called for the creation of a “hardship fund scheme” alongside financial grants to taxi drivers to install screens in cars and the purchase of essential PPE.
The income of Welsh taxi drivers has plummeted throughout the COVID-19 crisis and their ability to access adequate financial support to replace their lost income has left many of them struggling to pay their mortgages and feed their families.
Welsh Government has provided welcome support to other sections of the Welsh transport system including bus and rail. Unite is calling for similar action by the Welsh Government to cover taxi drivers.
Unite Wales are asking drivers and the public to support their campaign by signing a petition found here: https://www.megaphone.org.uk/petitions/support-welsh-taxi-drivers
Beth Winter, Labour MP for Cynon Valley, urged people to sign the petition saying via social media: “The income of our taxi drivers across Wales has plummeted throughout the Covid-19 crisis and has left many struggling to pay their bills and feed their families.
”Sign Unite Wales’ petition calling on the Welsh Government to support our taxi drivers!”
Mick Antoniw MS, said via social media: “Taxi services are an integral part of our developing transport infrastructure - this is even more important for our valleys communities.
“Very important we look at ways of supporting it and our taxi drivers.”
Jenny Rathbone MS, said via social media: “I agree that this is a very serious issue. Passenger numbers across all forms of transport have plummeted so we need to have a sustainable solution to protect people’s livelihoods and wellbeing.
“Will discuss with Mick Antoniw MS, Welsh Government Economy and Transport as well as the First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford.”
Earlier this week, at the launch of the new campaign, Unite Wales Secretary Peter Hughes said: “It is Unite’s view that the taxi trade has slipped through the net of Welsh government financial support for our transport sector. Our members feel as if they have been forgotten and left to fend for themselves.
"Taxi drivers provide an essential service and are an integral cog in our transport infrastructure. During the COVID-19 crisis their income has been decimated with few avenues open to them from government to access financial support.
“Unite’s campaign is calling for a range of measures to ensure our members are able to see out this crisis and are adequately supported to enable them to financially survive this crisis. Taxi drivers provide an essential service throughout Wales, transporting essential workers and children to school. Their plight can no longer be ignored and we today urge the Welsh government to act quickly to support drivers and their families.”