The man spearheading the Independent Workers Union in Derry has pledged to continue the fight for better working conditions and pay for the 2,000 taxi drivers in the city.
Taxi driver Tom King set up a local branch of the union this year in response to drivers who, in some cases, were working upwards of sixty hours a week to earn a living. Other drivers claimed they were forced to sleep in their cars between shifts.
Speaking to the Sunday Journal Mr. King said: “The taxi drivers’ union will continue to work hard in the best interest of the taxi drivers in 2014. The union is in the process of lettering political parties including the SDLP, the DUP,Sinn Fein, People before Profit and the UUP inviting them to a meeting to discuss taxi related issues and problems within our city. We have already been lobbying the SDLP minister Mark H Durkan on the issue of inadequate taxi ranks both in the Waterside and City Side and his party have now written to the Department of Regional Development and the Department of the Environment in relation to this issue.”
Mr. King pledged to do more to make the working lives of taxi drivers in Derry easier and urged more people to join the union.
He added: “We will continue to Fight For A Living Wage for the drivers and dispatchers and appeal to the proprieters of major taxi companies here to raise the 13 year old outdated fares so that the men and women who do the job can make a living wage and not have to work excessive hours which is causing strain on relationships and family life.The drivers are all self employed and should be allowed to negotiate a fair price for their services just like brick layers,tilers,hair dressers,etc.So our message to the drivers is to join your union and demand your rights.”
Mr. King paid tribute to the IWU national exeutive for their support and to all local union members and committee for their hard work in 2013, which he said has been vital to the success of the union on the ground here.
He added: “I wish all our union members and all taxi drivers throughout the city a happy, profitable and safe new year.”