A story was recounted to me recently by somebody within the industry as to how the relative of a taxi driver contacted one of the orgs asking for help after the taxi driver had become seriously ill. Due to the nature of the drivers illness, TfL had asked for the return of the drivers taxi licence until the driver is deemed fit enough to work again. The organisation has helped the person in question.
Only recently, a driver who had his taxi licence revoked by TfL due to not being "a fit and proper person" after an incident, successfully had his licence reinstated. Again that was down to the help of an org.
Over the years whether it be through lobbying, revealing governmental misdeeds through freedom of information requests, getting fundamentally flawed traffic schemes reversed, defending drivers against complaints, fighting tickets, initiating prosecutions and so much more, the orgs and unions have been a protective umbrella for those within the industry. Yet only around 50% of drivers in the taxi trade are in an org or a union.
There could be a myriad of reasons as to why only half of the drivers within the London taxi industry are members of an org or union. Those reasons could range from being a part-time driver and not feeling that being represented is necessary or having a second job that already gives them some form of union protection. This could also be at the other end of the spectrum that a driver feels disenfranchised and believes that no union represents them in the way that they would wish. There are a plethora of reasons as to why this number is so low.
The orgs and the unions aren't perfect, they make mistakes, but then again there isn't an individual or a group that doesnt make some mistakes within their profession. Ultimately the orgs and the unions are here for both ours and the taxi industry's benefit.
There are several orgs and unions linked to the London taxi industry. Some are driver specific and some are multi-faceted.
Drivers need to look at how any given org or union benefits them, whether it be through what sort of legal protection is on offer, right across to how the org or union fits in with the drivers political views.
Representation is a very personal matter, do your research, find an organisation or union that suits your needs, speak to those who work within the organisations and unions.
Below is a list of organisations and unions with their contact details. Withhout driver representation the industry becomes weakened and highly fragmented, with no clear direction. If you aren't in an organisation or a union, why not give some of them a call and see what they have to offer.
Phone Number- 0207 2861046
Phone Number- 0207 3945553
Phone Number- 0207 3916700
Phone Number- 0207 3874771
Phone Number- 020 76112500