Sunday, 27 December 2009

New Year's Eve 2009.

Seasons greetings to you all and hope you have had a very Merry Christmas with this part of the festive season now over we look forward to the New Year and the celebrations that take place in the capital on the 31st December and 1st January.

Many of you will choose to work over New Year and especially New Year's Eve and what we would like you to observe at the RMT London taxi branch is how you are treated has a London taxi-cab driver and if you are allowed access at a reasonable time to and within the secure zone so you may pick up passengers who are seeking and wish to use the services of a London taxi-cab.

Over recent years London's taxi-cabs have been excluded from entering the zone until the very early hours of the morning last year it was well past 4 am. People come to London, people expect to be able to find a taxi-cab plying for hire near or within the zone. We know a request was made last year to Transport for London and the Public Cariage Office for a temporary rank on the Mall, this request was turned down by a senior member of the management team of the Public Carriage Office. So if you chose to work this New Year let us known at the RMT London taxi branch whether you were able to go about your business at a reasonable time and pick up Londoners and tourists who require the services of a London taxi-cab and not that of a pedicab/rickshaw, tout or a licensed mini-cab driver touting illegally.

A very Happy New Year to you and your family and let us hope that 2010 is the year that the UK economy finally recovers.

Friday, 18 December 2009

John McDonnell MP and the RMT Parliamentary Group Swing into Action...

Lead convenor and London MP for Hayes and Harlington John Mcdonnell swung into action on behalf of the London taxi branch of the specialist transport union RMT after a meeting held recently at Portcullis house, Victoria Embankment, SW1.

The Mayor Boris Johnson, Tranpsort Commissioner Peter Hendy, Westminster City Council, London Councils and all of London's Members of Parliament have recieved a letter informing them of a number of concerns London's taxi-cab drivers have with Transport for London and the its division known has the Public Carriage Office.

The RMT parliamentary group have raised concerns over the vetting procedure of "knowledge of London" candidates and have called for a Public Inquiry into the PCO. The main purpose of the inquiry would be to reassure the public and return that bond of trust that is unique and such an important part of the London taxi trade. They have also informed all the above named parties that the London Local Authorities and Transport for London (no.2) Bill if it reaches the House of Commons WILL BE OPPOSED. You should note clause 19 of this bill would give Transport for London and all London Councils the power to introduce pedicab/rickshaw ranks and bays. So it is clear that others within the London taxi trade talk and sometimes print a lot but it is the RMT specialist transport union and its well organised machine and staff at all our offices throughout the UK that deliver and lobby on the issues that affect you and your family.

If ever you had a doubt about what trade union/organisation to join well here is proof that if you join the RMT you won't just get a voice on the taxi rank or in the street but your legitimate concerns will be heard in the Gasworks (house's of Parliament) and corridors of power. Remember others say ban but want to give them ranks/bays (ask the LTDA and UNITE because that is their position), some just ignore pedicabs & rickshaws however here at the RMT specialist transport union we organise seek dialogue and if necessary oppose legislation that will have an adverse affect on your livelihood.

It's not just Christmas yet and with plenty of hardwork to come be sure to join the only trade union that will give you a real say in the matters and issues that affect your life, so join the RMT specialist transport union and become a member of the RMT London taxi branch.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Never On Our Knees...

The RMT is the only trade union that is growing at this present moment in time and the simple reason for this is we listen to our members. For too long the taxi trade in London has been led by a bunch a people who no doubt care but fail to see that their appeasement of polices laid down by the misguided at Transport for London have failed not only you and your family, but the wider travelling public. We have a mountain to climb if we are to repair the damage done to the world's finest taxi-cab service and we shall be hitting the ranks, the streets, the roads in 2010 with a very simple message and that is join the one trade organisation that is prepared to listen to you and allow you the members to set policy for your jobs and your families future.

What has anybody to fear of the RMT, the answer is nothing for we are not a top down union telling you what will happen and telling you what hours you can work, for you're self employed and just to clarify yet again the domestic driver hours does not apply to self-employed taxi-cab drivers and neither does the working time directive. It is a great shame other trade oragnisations choose to mislead you, in fact their time would be better spent trying to reslove the issue of the satellite mini-cab offices, a serious problem that they allowed to be created and mushroom out of all control we may add.

On the 5th of Febuary 2009 thousands of taxi-cab drivers attended a demonstration at Trafalgar Square, up to 8,000 according to the LTDA yet what did this actually achieve? For at this present time we have 4, yes 4 new taxi-cab ranks in the West End of London with one illegal rank closed down at Whitcomb Street. Now with TFL looking into bays on the public highway (ranks) for mini-cabs, Westminster council seeking to give ranks to pedicabs with the blessing of the LTDA and the union UNITE and satellite mini-cab offices flourishing at an alarming rate all is not rosy in the land of London taxi-cab driver and all is certainly not well with your trade representation.

So what should you do? Well at the RMT we think the answer is simple if you have never joined a trade union or organisation try the London taxi branch of the RMT for we have many battles ahead, not internal ones we'll leave the sniping to others but our battles will be with Transport for London and the Public Carriage Office. We shall do our level best to stop the rot and not just hold the line but bring a better future for you and your family. We aim to achieve this through dialogue, good sensible knowledgable dialogue, but if this approach doesn't work we can always lobby our parliamentary group, picket, protest and highlight to the wider world via all forms of media the problems we face dealing with the many levels and bodies that have influence over your working lives. If you haven't already think about joining the fatest growing taxi branch in the UK, join the RMT and know you have a winner not just behind but standing shoulder to shoulder right next to you.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Setting the Record Straight.

The working time directive and the drivers hours regulations and two entirely different legislative instruments. The working time directive limits the maximum number of hours an employee may work here in the UK, workers can choose to "opt out" and agree to work longer hours. The trade union movement here in the UK campaigns to stop people working longer hours and to stop unscrupulous employers taking advantage of their workforce. You should note the Self-employed (that's us) remain unaffected.

Now the drivers hours regulations have long been enshrined in law and these deal with truck and bus drivers etc. From time to time the Department of Transport review these and the RMT being a responsible union are invited to respond. The RMT's position is clear IF the Department of Transport decided to look into the Taxi trade and hours of work then consultation should take place with the whole of the taxi trade. Now you should note that nothing is presently planned by the Department of Transport and we are sorry to see yet again more scare tactics from the LTDA.

It seems that some trade organisations within the taxi trade are more concerned at deflecting questions asked of them especially when you look at the growth of the satellite mini-cab office. Yes the satellite mini-cab office was created by Transport for London whilst the LTDA and the union UNITE had the ear of the previous Mayor of London. Now we have hundreds of clipboard operators with ranks of cars lined up taking your work, what have these organisations done to stop the rise of the clipboard operator?

The LTDA and the union UNITE want to see pedicab ranks all over London, they are not prepared to object to clause 19 of the London Local Authorities and Transport for London (no.2) Bill. If this bill becomes law you will see pedicab ranks starting first in Westminster and then other London Borough's. If you can have a pedicab rank what next a mini-cab rank? Talking of mini-cab ranks the surface transport panel of Transport for London produced a paper recently and this paper talks of mini-cab bays on the public highway.

We hope this sets the record straight and if you do have any questions of queries please contact us via our email address or mobile (call or text) on 07899 786 433. Please do keep an eye on the blog which we intend to up date on a regular basis.