Taxi row deepens as union mounts rolling protests
TRADE union SIPTU is to mount a series of rolling protests against conditions in the taxi industry from the end of next month.
While the campaign will not lead to services being withdrawn, the public is being warned to expect some disruption.
The union announced the action yesterday after deciding to withdraw from the Advisory Council of the Commission for Taxi Regulation and to boycott further meetings of the body.
The decision to pull out comes just a day after the Irish Taxi Council, a non-union body which claims to represent drivers, warned that thousands of motorists and commuters would face severe disruption from Monday.
Drivers will withdraw services for "at least" 24 hours, and say the stoppages will continue until their concerns about the number of taxi drivers in the industry are addressed.
The advisory council advises both the Taxi Regulator and Transport Minister Noel Dempsey on issues affecting the industry, but last night a SIPTU spokesman said it was withdrawing because the council had failed to address its concerns.
"At no time have our members or taxi drivers generally derived any benefit from participation on this body," Jerry Brennan, SIPTU taxi branch organiser, said.
The union wants unused taxi licences to be returned to the regulator, and not sold on; an appeals structure put in place to contest decisions of the regulator; and an end to double-jobbing where full-time workers moonlight as taxi drivers.