50 taxi drivers “sacked” after trying for better conditions
Media Statement: Auckland Taxi Association
Friday December 6, 2013
50 taxi drivers “sacked” after trying for better conditions at Auckland Airport
50 taxi drivers who have been campaigning for better conditions at Auckland Airport have been effectively sacked, Auckland Taxi Association said today.
The drivers, all working for President Taxis were notified on Wednesday that President Taxis would no longer have a contract with Auckland Airport as of 11.59 pm on Monday 9 December 2013.
This means that none of these 50 drivers will be able to pick up passengers from the airport from this date.
Earlier this month around 200 airport taxi drivers identified a number of abuses of taxi drivers at the Airport and formed the Auckland Taxi Association to fight for better conditions and rights. This lead to protest actions of drivers at the airport.
While the Airport Company made some minor changes, it did not resolve the major issues and then said that it would no longer talk directly to the taxi drivers but only to their contracting taxi companies.
Now one of these companies, President Taxis, has suddenly announced without the required notice that it no longer has a Airport contract from Monday night, leaving its drivers high and dry. The drivers are now in panic mode trying to get driving contracts with other companies which means added costs of brand and meter changing and time off the road for the cabs.
Spokesperson for the Auckland Taxi Association, Manmohan Singh, said he believed that President Taxis losing its contract to Auckland Airport was an attempt by the Airport Company to isolate the leadership of the Auckland Taxi Association and break its campaign for the rights of taxi drivers at Auckland airport.
However this action has meant that as from Monday night 50 airport taxi drivers have essentially been sacked. This would not be acceptable if we were employees and should not be acceptable for us as contractors, he said.
The Auckland Taxi drivers has been given support from the Labour Party and FIRST Union in its dispute with Auckland Airport.