Saturday, 29 May 2010

Taxi Engagement Policy plus...

What a week this has been when Taxi-cab drivers decided to take direct action themselves over problems they encounter on a regular nightly basis.

You should "all" note the LCDC called for a demonstration the RMT London taxi branch emailed the LCDC and offered support.We are still awaiting a reply. We believe that TFL and Taxi Private Hire (TPH great name by the way, nice to see what our licence fee gets spent on) need to engage with all trade orgs and unions within  the trade and not discriminate.

Mr John Mason has produced a "Taxi Engagement Policy" (TEP) which seeks to inspect our records but not the records of the LTDA, LCDC and the union UNITE. Why would Mr John Mason and TFL seek to inspect the records of the RMT and its London Taxi branch but not seek to inspect the records of the LTDA, LCDC and the union UNITE ?

Does TFL and the division known as TPH wish to discriminate ? This is a question we shall be asking of the Mayor, members of the London Assembly, Members of Parliament and the House of Lords.

If TFL and TPH would like a right of reply please do email I'm sure we will give it due consideration...

PS Please note we have a copy of a letter sent to Caroline Pidgeon AM Chair of the Transport Committee on the London Assembly stating clearly that Mr J Mason Director of TPH agreed to meet with the RMT London Taxi branch on a regular informal basis. It seems that Mr J Mason has forgotten what he actually agreed to or was this just another oversight...

We are prepared to meet with TFL/TPH on a formal/informal basis to discuss serious issues that affect you the working self employed taxi-cab driver...

Saturday, 22 May 2010

The Clock is Ticking...

The clock is well and truly ticking for the London Taxi trade and its drivers. We at the RMT specialist transport union wish to challenge the perception that you can't effect change and you can't do anything other than moan about the plight you find yourselves in.

The RMT is a campaigning union and when you enter a campaign you do so knowing that it will take time and you may even lose the odd battle along the way.

We though at the RMT set aims and objectives that we can achieve within a reasonable time frame and then we move on and forward always remembering that our sole intention is to improve your working conditions which in turn will improve the service you supply to your customers.

We have a number of new blog sites which are dedicated to the many campaigns we are about to launch which aim to defend your rights as a self employed London Taxi-cab driver. Let us be honest the time for sitting back and hoping that everything will be OK is over. The RMT specialist transport union is here and here to stay and we shall achieve and meet our goals because we have a membership base that is committed to the cause of securing our collective future.

Please do click on the links and you should note both blog sites are here to keep you up to date with RMT London taxi branch campaigns.

Join the only union prepared to stand up for you and your rights join the RMT online at

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Rickshaws, Pedicabs....what price safety...

The RMT London taxi branch would like to see a broad coalition of trade unions/bodies and organisations oppose clause 19 contained in the LLA & TFL (no.2) Bill.

We have made enquiries with the Lothian and Borders Police Force after the recent death of a young male who fell from a Rickshaw/Pedicab. This matter is now in the hands of the Procurator Fiscals Office (the Courts) with the view to a Fatal Accident Enquiry. This is now with the Courts north of the border and therefore sub judice.

The RMT London taxi branch believes it is time for Government, the Mayor and London Borough's to put safety first. The rickshaw/pedicab has no role to play in a modern 1st world transport network and we urge all trade associations/unions to join the RMT London taxi branch in its opposition to clause 19 of the LLA & TFL (no.2) Bill.
  1. NO to Pedicab/Rickshaw ranks or bays.
  2. NO to the Voluntary Registration Scheme.
  3. NO to 3rd world Transport given 1st world status.
We ask those in authority;
  1. Where do you place the Wheelchair ?
  2. Where do you place the assistance dog ?
  3. When did TFL and any of the London Borough's crash test these objects ?
Please log onto and join the campaign to make the streets and roads of London safer...

You don't just get a Voice and Vote at the RMT, you get the chance to make a difference to the environment you work in. Join the RMT at and JUST SAY NO TO 19 !

Sunday, 16 May 2010

RMT the campaigning union.

The RMT is a campaigning union and in the finest traditions of the union the newly formed London taxi branch have launched a number of campaigns regarding issues that affect our membership and you the London taxi-cab driver.

With a new parliament and coalition government we must be ready to petition against the "London Local Authorities and Transport for London (no.2) Bill" remember clause 19 wishes to place pedicab ranks/bays on the public highway. We are pleased to see that the LCDC have indicated yet again their opposition to the bill and clause 19 but concerned other members of the United Trade Group seem to be of the opinion that giving pedicabs a "voluntary registration scheme" coupled with "ranks/bays" will bring us closer to a BAN ?

The RMT London taxi branch have led the way regarding this issue and used successfully our parliamentary team led by John McDonnell MP for Hayes and Harlington. We shall continue to campaign to ban these objects from the public highway, only recently in Scotland a young man died after a fall from a pedicab/rickshaw. Third world transport has no part to play in a first world road network the time has come to ban and therefore we at the RMT London taxi branch have set up a dedicated blogsite to keep you up to date with the latest news and information regarding these dangerous objects. is presently under construction and this site will keep you all informed of issues relating to this campaign, so if you want to defeat the menace of the pedicab/rickshaw why not join the only union prepared to stand up for your rights. Join the RMT and its London taxi branch at .

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Branch Meeting...

Members of the RMT London taxi branch are reminded that we have a branch meeting on the 13th of May 2010 at the Chadwick street sports centre, Chadwick Street SW1, just behind Channel 4 building.

The London taxi trade is at a crossroads and we have serious issues and problems to solve. The most pressing problem at this moment in time is the concept/idea of the "Satellite Mini-Cab Office" an idea created under the Mayoralty of Ken Livingstone and implemented by TFL and the division know has the Public Carriage Office.

Satellite Offices have become a touts charter with "clipboard operators" touting on the public highway and PHV's "ranking" and "parking" illegally all over the capital. The time has come for the London taxi trade to unite to deal with this serious threat to our collective right to "ply for hire".

The new committee look forward to meeting you all and please remember to bring your membership card to gain admission.

John Kennedy, Chairman RMT London taxi branch.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Satellite Mini-Cab Offices...a clear present danger.

The Satellite mini-cab office is a very clear present danger to the London taxi trade and driver.

Under the banner "Safer Travel at Night" mini-cab offices were encouraged to set up within bars and clubs and then granted "satellite mini-cab" office status.

The previous administration at City Hall appears to have side stepped the London taxi-cab driver and gone straight to private hire to seek a solution to a problem that has been created by lax lazy enforcement and bad town planning by all those in authority.

The RMT London Taxi Branch will be discussing a strategy at its next branch meeting that aims to bring about the closure of all of these offices. This will not be easy and it will take time and a super human effort by all involved and it will certainly be more than a drive in or a demonstration.

Demonstrations, drive-in's, pickets will form part of this strategy but along with the noise and disruption that these can bring we must be prepared for the hard work behind the scences that may include and lead up to court action. Our "collective" right to "ply for hire" is under threat like never before and with the economy looking fragile we shall not see an end to this downturn in fact we may be entering a decade of austerity.

Legitimate taxi-cab work is walking out the door of bars and clubs and we are denied the right to rank, yet private hire can set up a satelite mini-cab office, rank and park illegally with no fear from those in authority.

It's time to knock out satellite mini-cab offices and it's time for you to join the RMT London taxi branch...

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Mini-Cab Motor Bikes TFL Consultation Result Pending...

After communication this week with the Director of Taxi Private Hire John Mason, the RMT London Taxi Branch can reveal that the TFL will shortly be reporting on the consultation regarding Mini-Cab Motorbikes.

You should note that the picture above clearly shows a mini-cab motorbike with the word "Taxy" clearly marked upon it. The RMT London Taxi Branch have sent a formal complaint to the Director of Taxis and Private Hire regarding the misuse of the word "Taxy". It does seem that many Private hire operators wish to create confusion with members of the public and "wind up" London taxi-cab drivers at the same time.

You should all note that these mini-cab motorbikes operate under temporary mini-cab/private hire licenses, so we must ask what action will be taken against the operator of this mini-cab motorbike ?

The time has come for the Licensing authourity "TFL/PCO" to take action against Private hire operators who break the law. We though at the RMT must pose the question "are large private hire operators above the law" ? In recent months/years we have had one operator remove wiper blades from vehicles, instruct its drivers to break the law by driving down the M4 bus lane and misuse the word TAXI or a word which sounds the same eg "TAXY".

TFL/PCO owe the London Taxi trade a duty of care and this includes the name that describes us and the service we offer, time for TFL and the division know has the PCO to get its act together.

Can we thank the Caretaker and the Editor of the blogsite for their permission in using the above image.