Stansted airport’s private hire drivers consider ballot for industrial action

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Kicked to the curb by takeover operator StreetCars, London’s Stansted airport drivers have found that fares and incomes have dropped since a change of contractor.

StreetCars commission rates are a staggering 45.5%, drivers also pay between £700 and £900 a month to rent the vehicles on top of fuel and insurance. Some drivers also cover costs for small sundries like oil. Rates are simply not keeping pace with driver’s expenses or inflation say GMB London.

One driver who drove for StreetCars was told that because his vehicle is just a few months over 4 years old he couldn’t work for the company. The driver who is self-funding a replacement has found that the current lack of availability of brand new cars hasn’t provided him with any empathy from the company. This is of great concern to other drivers using their own cars who fear being in the same situation.

Cenk Kasakci, Streetcar driver’s representative has said:

“Promises made by management are merely empty attempts to silence drivers’ concerns. Many drivers have worked from the airport for years and worked under the previous operator but never saw such behaviour. It’s hard enough to manage the current cost of living crisis with the knowledge that StreetCars are currently offering £1000 to recruit new joiners without considering existing drivers who cannot make ends meet.

“We are at the end of our tether. Promises are made but habitually broken, management behaviours must change.”

Steve Garelick, GMB London Region Officer said:

“StreetCars’ senior management has avoided all engagement with GMB, even citing that they have been advised not to talk to us by their solicitors, despite a previous recognition agreement being in place with its predecessor 24/7.

“We note that StreetCars is furious at being challenged over issues, but drivers at Stansted are not being listened to at a time when many workers across the UK are taking the stand that enough is enough, workers at Amazon are one such example. If a ballot goes ahead and there is a consensus for industrial action the airport and passengers will be affected.

“Being anti trade union is a common trait with taxi and private hire operators but we take on the fight, as GMB has proven with many companies in this sector. In the end, companies see that working with GMB provides positive benefits for both the operator and the drivers. It’s time for StreetCars to invite GMB to negotiations if they wish to avoid a ballot for industrial action.”

Contact: Steve Garelick, GMB London Region Organiser  079 6776 3980

GMB London Region Press Office 079 7001 9643 or GMB Press Office