Transport Workers Union Opportunism is Misplaced

11 September 2015 | NSW Taxi Council

The NSW Taxi Council today blasted the Transport Workers Union (TWU) for its opportunistic behaviour in criticising the NSW Taxi Industry.

On one hand the TWU is attacking the taxi industry in NSW which has one of the strongest set of industrial rights for taxis drivers in the world, then in the next breath it’s saying Uber is not the answer.

The CEO of the NSW Taxi Council, Mr Wakelin-King, said the TWU can’t have it both ways and that it needs to take the side of the industry that sustains taxi drivers.

“Standing up in front of taxi drivers, operators and owners saying that the NSW Taxi Industry is broken is a slap in the face for those who came to raise their concerns about Uber X and illegal ridesharing,” he said. 

“The biggest threat to taxi driver earnings is the illegal activity of Uber X, not the NSW Taxi Industry which provides employment opportunities for over 23,000 drivers and 5,000 operators.”

Under the NSW drivers’ agreement, drivers are entitled to annual leave, sick leave, and long service leave. These are entitlements that are protected by law. In the world of Uber, the concept of entitlements is completely absent.

Furthermore, drivers negotiate with taxi owners in good faith to lease a cab to earn their revenue.  This revenue is currently being undermined by the illegal activity of Uber and this is what the TWU needs to realise.

“Peddling self-serving mistruths achieves nothing for taxi drivers and it simply misses the point in terms of what’s happening in the real world,” Mr Wakelin-King said.

“The TWU should focus its campaign on the right issue which is the negative impact of illegal ridesharing on driver earnings.

“The bottom line is that it was the issue of Uber X that has brought taxi drivers out into the streets yesterday; not the taxi industry.

“The TWU would better serve its members by supporting the industry that sustains taxi drivers and not continually denigrating it.”