Updated: May 8
The GMB, a Union which represents some of the UK’s taxi and private hire drivers, has said it has uncovered a potentially fraudulent scandal in Kirklees involving a number of taxi operators.
At the start of the COVID-19 crisis, GMB officers were given assurances that Kirklees Council would continue to pay private hire car operators for school transport contracts even if the school was closed.
This would enable the council to use these vehicles for urgent delivery of food, supplies and transporting key workers across Kirklees in order to support local communities.
GMB Union has discovered that unscrupulous taxi bosses are receiving the council's money but are not passing this on to drivers, the same drivers who have seen their income dry up as the lockdown forces people to stay at home.
GMB Organiser, Andrew Aldwinkle, said: “GMB are getting contacted most days by taxi drivers who have not been paid by their taxi operator. Taxi drivers have lost most of their income during the lockdown and to have this regular money withheld by greedy taxi bosses is another kick in the teeth.
“GMB Union has asked Kirklees Council to investigate every incident where a taxi driver is not being paid and to explore whether the actions of some operators is fraudulent.
“GMB Union has also suggested that the council review the operator’s licence if it is found that they have been withholding money from drivers. Taxi drivers are regular working people and they should receive the pay they are owed.
“I am grateful to Kirklees Council; they have tried to do the right thing but now they must take action to ensure that our members get the pay they are owed.”