All but five of the 160 taxi drivers refuse to cross striking workers’ picket line
Belfast Taxis must address fact that some of their lowest paid workers haven’t receive pay increase in years
March 14th: Unite Regional Officer, Sean Smyth, responded to the spin of bosses at Belfast Taxis:
“Today our members in Belfast Taxis showed tremendous courage in making a stand for fair pay. For years they have watched their own pay remain frozen as others have received bonuses and pay rises. Management must address this unfair situation.
“Bosses released a misleading public statement claiming that they were unaware of the planned industrial action and omitting any reference to their attempts to tie a £20 a week pay increase to punitive changes to the workers’ terms and conditions.
“The admin workers in Belfast Taxis have been treated shabbily by an arrogant and high-handed management. This truth is testified by the response received when striking workers standing in the rain sought and obtained the support of their driver colleagues. A mere five taxi drivers out of 160 crossed the pickets, with many indicating that they were deeply unhappy by the behaviour of bosses.
“In written communication to Unite, the bosses have sought to challenge the right of workers to take strike action and even threatened to involve the Certification Officer – who has no role in determining the legality of strike action. In so doing, they are seeking to use an office created by the Tory government of the 1980s to undermine the rights of workers to withhold their labour.
“The current management are correct when they say that Belfast Taxis was formed on the basis of socialist principles – it is unfortunate that they have now travelled so far down the road that they have more in common with the Tory party than those who first established the company.
“The workers are determined to continue their action for fair pay – the next strike is set for next Wednesday. We are calling on those in authority to intervene and ensure that the current management of Belfast Taxis adopts a more enlightened approach to their workers and their legitimate demands”, Mr Smyth concluded.