Friday, 2 June 2017

ANTIGUA: Taxi Drivers Threaten to Go On Strike

United Taxi Association has threatened to cease operating at the V C Bird International Airport as a result of a dispute with a travel agency.

Public Relations Officer Ian Joseph said that members of his association do not take kindly to the attitude portrayed by one of Sun Tours employees.

He said this issue has been ongoing for about two years and alleged that the company has done nothing to resolve the dispute.

We have been having issues with this particular employee for so long, I can’t even put a particular time to it. We have been through almost every channel to get this problem sorted and we’re not getting anywhere.

As the executive, we have a mandate from our members, and our members say they will not accept any transfers while that particular young lady is working there and we are going to stand by this until we get the matter resolved, Joseph said.

General Manager of Sun Tours was given an opportunity to respond to these allegations, but she declined to comment.

Joseph described the employee as rude, disruptive, and disrespectful. He also said that the employee often creates conflicts in front of guests.

According to Joseph, the situation has escalated since the agency used outside drivers the last time the airport taxi operators boycotted it.

We have a lot of issues with unauthorised transfers being done at the airport, people with private cars, people with commercial plates and the law stipulates that people with transfers should have a public service permit and most of these drivers don’t.”

Lennart Martin, another member of the association, also weighed in on the discussion.

We had a meeting and we agreed that we would work with her if she would meet and greet the guests and bring them out while she would not dispatch.

They still have her dispatching and when our workers stand up against her, she stop any car or any taxi and give them the guests to carry. That is endangering the guests.

One of the association’s trustees, Arthur George has accused the employee of blacklisting some of the taxi operators.

He said, recently, she came with a list of about 30 names saying that these individuals should not transfer their work.

There is where as an association, we become concerned that one individual just get up and makes decisions unknowing to the association.