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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 February 2016

Leicester taxi dispute: Labour's rank hypocrisy

Steve Score, Leicester Socialist Party

Taxi drivers in Leicester, organised in transport workers' union the RMT, are furious at the dictatorial attitude of the city's Labour mayor. They have already held a number of protests and 'go slows' that have gridlocked the city centre during rush hours.

At a protest meeting on 4 February 100 taxi drivers and supporters met to discuss their ongoing dispute over a penalty points system being imposed.

Livelihoods

The system could potentially result in the drivers losing their livelihoods over relatively minor infringements with no right to appeal.

Elected Labour mayor Peter Soulsby, who has refused to sit down and negotiate, was invited to the meeting but publicly said no.

RMT assistant general secretary Steve Hedley said: "Surely an elected official should listen to their constituents? We understand there is limited parking space in Leicester city centre, but there aren't enough taxi ranks.

"But now the mayor is reducing them further in a fit of pique that is childish. Council officers are now targeting black cabs, discriminating in favour of private hire. That's not acceptable."

RMT branch secretary, Umar Khan, said:

"We did not oppose the actual scheme, but how it would be implemented. But we were not given the opportunity to be heard. We designed positive proposals.

"We understand the health and safety grounds for these rules such as failure to wear a name badge. But they can be forgotten or misplaced. It's not proportionate to automatically give points that could contribute to loss of licence.

Protest

"Why not have a place to display a name badge on the central screens of the taxi? Why not discuss the provision of taxi ranks?

"Drivers have invested more than £40,000 in their vehicles. If there aren't enough places to park - where can they go? We were forced to protest."

Steve Hedley summed up: "If you are suffering an injustice you don't suffer in silence, you rise up and fightback. The campaign won't stop here."

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In The Socialist 10 February 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight council cuts!

Tories bankrupting NHS

Defiant mood as junior doctors demonstrate

Lawyers defeat Tories' unjust legal aid cuts

Cushy government job for Amazon boss

'Pro-rape' anti-feminist Roosh V humiliated

Liverpool fans walk out against ticket price hikes

Them & Us


Socialist Party feature

Mental health: system in crisis

Mental health: My battle for the help I needed


What we think

Cameron's EU renegotiation charade

Don't give money to Ukip and Tory EU campaigners!


Momentum, Labour and the Socialist Party

Lack of strategy and exclusions threaten Momentum

Birmingham: socialists kicked out of Momentum

Labour right wing blocks call to debate budget cuts


Socialist Party workplace news

No-cuts strategy needed to save 25,000 council jobs

Local government union backs no-cuts council budgets

Big victory at Small Heath School against academy attack

Cuts to premiums mean no 'rise' in store for Tesco workers

Leicester taxi dispute: Labour's rank hypocrisy

South London: Library workers strike to save services

Continued action in crane drivers' pay dispute

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Portsmouth: support for anti-austerity stand

Leeds meeting expresses Corbyn and McDonnell's contradictions

Socialist Party members inspired by conference

Torbay: "A tale of two towns"

Anger against plans to close Bradford libraries

NHS campaign gains support


International socialist news and analysis

Sanders' socialist message rattling the establishment

US elections: Clinton coins it

International news in brief


 

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Related links:

Leicester:

triangleLeicester care workers face pay cut and worse conditions

triangleLeicester: Nylacast worker exposes truth

triangleLeicester: We can't take any more cuts, any more misery, and we are fighting back

triangleSocialist sellers

Labour:

triangleCrisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

triangleTrades council debates workers' political representation

triangleStarmer in full retreat over C-19 rents crisis

triangleSocial partnership is an attempt to shackle trade unions and prevent industrial action

Drivers:

triangleTransport workers and passengers mustn't pay the price

triangleNo increase in transport capacity without adequate safety precautions

triangleLondon bus drivers' action over safety stops front door boarding

RMT:

triangleTransport union RMT tells members: refuse to work in unsafe conditions

triangleTories put profit before lives - unions must stand firm on workplace safety

Steve Hedley:

triangleRMT: Lift the suspension of Steve Hedley

Transport:

triangleLondon transport: Reject the ‘choice’ of safety or revenue

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