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Taxi Union Berates Govt Over Licence Plates Job Losses

By NATARIO MCKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

Bahamas Taxicab Union (BTCU) yesterday expressed frustration over government failure to remedy an issue which has now left 30-40 drivers out of work, its president suggesting that government is “clueless” regarding how to untangle the “mess” the industry is in.

Wesley Ferguson, BTCU president told Tribune Business existing owners of taxi cab plates were exploiting the government’s plan to clean-up the industry by seizing plates back from drivers before this can be put into effect.

“There are about 30-40 drivers who have had their plates seized. They have been out of work now for roughly a month. We were assured that something would be done, that these people would be given some form of relief, a temporary plate or something so they could work and have some form of income until the government figures this thing out. We gave the minister an opportunity to address this issue over a week ago. We were told to wait until after the budget debate as if that has something to do with people going back to work. The taxi union is very upset about this. We’re not staying quiet about this. When we take to protest again we want the public to know why,’ said Mr Ferguson.

“I feel as though the government is clueless about what they have committed to. Basically they were blindsided because they didn’t realise the depth of the tangled mess the industry is in. These people who are out of work are now the casualties of that proposal the prime minister threw out at our meeting in January. The only thing that proposal has done is cause tax drivers hardship.”

Back in January, scores of angry taxi drivers gathered in Rawson Square to protest what they consider poor treatment and working conditions as well as “unfair” competition from tour operators. Taxi drivers have called for an end to the two-decade old moratorium on new taxi plates.

Comments

truetruebahamian 1 year, 2 months ago

Can we use their parking spaces even temporarily - please? They use ours - even private load/unload zones and then disappear to hustle customers while we get ticketed because we can;t use our loading zones... because they have been occupied by selfish union protected taxi drivers.

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moncurcool 1 year, 2 months ago

So the government is to blame for people who were renting out three taxi plates, taking it back from the people they rented it to, since the government is trying to clean up the industry? Really?
.

One problem that needs to be fixed is that there are for starters WAY TOO MANY taxis in this country for its size. It is over subscribed.

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