Taxi workers

Organising a deregulated urban transport industry

Working conditions in the taxi sector have been deteriorating for more than a decade thanks to neo-liberal policies and deregulation.

This has affected not only taxi drivers, but also the workers supporting them, including clerks, queue marshals, security, call centre workers, admin staff and rank managers.

The challenges facing taxi workers

The circumstances of taxi workers vary widely from country to country, due to differences in:

  • licensing arrangements
  • the degree of regulation
  • type and size of vehicle
  • employment contracts

However, in spite of these variations, the challenges remain very similar across the world. Taxi workers often face:

  • low, often commission-based pay
  • long and irregular working hours
  • dangerous working conditions and police harassment
  • the absence of formal working contracts
  • a lack of effective regulation and social protection

Equally, because many taxi drivers are self-employed, organising is difficult and many lack union support. Even where the industry is organised, it tends to be fragmented.

What can you do to support taxi workers?

ITF firmly believes the taxi industry is part of the public transport system. This is an international issue and unions need to work together, sharing experiences and information, to establish best practice and improve working conditions for all taxi workers.

Trade unions can:

  • survey self-employed drivers and identify their issues
  • revise organising strategies and challenges
  • share successful union strategies for organising taxi workers
  • tell us about any issues and incidents
  • share information about campaigns, events and activities

To share your news, experiences and insights, email inlandtransport@itf.org.uk

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