RMT Leicester taxi protest to go ahead tomorrow

RMT Leicester taxi protest to go ahead tomorrow

19 November 2015

RMT Press Office

RMT Leicester taxi protest to go ahead tomorrow as Mayor point blank refuses to move on penalty points scheme.

A “go slow” protest by Leicester drivers, fighting an aggressive and punitive penalty point scheme scapegoating their industry, will go ahead tomorrow evening rush hour – Friday 20th November – after the City Mayor refused point blank to listen to union concerns and to make any modifications to the plans
RMT has listened to concerns from the ambulance and emergency services and has agreed to alter the route of the protest accordingly.
The union has said that here are already pre-existing sanctions in place for taxi drivers if they misbehave or commit any offence. Drivers who break the law are investigated by the Council’s Licensing team and if there is a case to answer, are brought in front of the Licensing Committee - so the necessity for a further tier of bureaucratic intervention in the trade is unclear.
But the Mayor, Peter Sousby, supported by politicians at Leicester Council has upped the ante and has decided to take and aggressive stance in a macho attempt to be seen to be taking action to regulate the sector. That action will menace and financially penalise responsible and established taxi drivers and will have the adverse effect of encouraging the growth of casual, unsafe minicabs.
Taxi drivers in Leicester are already being squeezed by corporate greed – with the operator of Leicester station East Midlands Trains charging drivers annually hundreds of pounds each just to pick up passengers from the station. RMT believes that Councils across the country are also now looking at new ways of skimming off taxi drivers’ tight revenues in a typical display of the new local government funding model.
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary said:
“RMT is appalled at the negative and aggressive attitude of the City Mayor who has point-blank refused to listen to reason and as a result tomorrows protest goes ahead.
“RMT is deeply concerned that taxi drivers are being unfairly scapegoated and that new schemes being devised to harass and extract penalties and fees from them. Rather than facilitate a properly functioning public taxi service, authorities are dreaming up new ways to crack down on drivers.
“Leicester taxi drivers are united in their need to take a stand. The “go slow” will be designed to raise awareness of the treatment of taxi drivers and force the Council to think again.”

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