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GMB Union slams Stansted’s StreetCars for ‘misleading’ commission fees over festive period

GMB slams StreetCars Stansted for ‘misleading’ commission fees that left drivers out of pocket and for forcing a fare hike that left drivers sitting idle over New Year.

According to GMB, Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) drivers working for Streetcars at Stansted Airport were advised by the company that commission due over the festive period would be charged at the same rate as normal fares. This was seen as good news and encouragement for drivers expecting to earn a little extra if they worked over Christmas and New Year.

GMB London, representing more than 80 drivers at Stansted’s StreetCars, has seen two emails from StreetCars. The first dated 14 December, informed drivers of the chargeable fares for the festive period in addition to what would be charged as commission for these days if worked.

However, in a second email sent to drivers on 3 January, the company reported an error in the information sent out on 14 December and that normal commission due applied to fares paid on Christmas Day only. On the festive days when fares were increased, the commission would echo the higher prices of fares charged, far from the financial incentive the company advised on 14 December.

Mike Tinnion, Branch Secretary of the GMB Professional drivers branch, said: “Members contacted us as soon as they learned of the company’s shift on commission rates. They were angry that once again Streetcars has misled them. GMB London tried to contact StreetCars to take up these complaints but StreetCars, unsurprisingly, did not respond.

“Many who chose to work on New Year’s Eve also reported that they found it hard to get London-bound passengers over New Year because StreetCars had hiked the fare so high that potential passengers chose cheaper taxi operators to get to London, leaving many StreetCars drivers sitting idle.

“This is just another falsehood from StreetCars Stansted and as a result drivers who worked have lost out over the festive period.”

Steve Garelick, GMB London Region Organiser, said: “Earnings for drivers may become more difficult over the coming five months because of the midnight to early-hours closure of Stansted’s runway due to resurfacing. I have no doubt that Stansted’s owners, Manchester Airport Group or StreetCars will not be sympathetic to the drivers by discounting commissions during this period.

“I suspect that StreetCars will continue the practice of putting profit before the welfare of the drivers, it will continue to hire its cars to drivers knowing very well that the demand from passengers will be reduced during the runway maintenance period.”


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