It seems from a Letter published recently in our local Evening Mail that a lot of folk just don’t seem to know how the taxi industry works. The writer complains of drivers working long hours “as much as sixty or eighty hours a week or more” and goes on to say that the taxi bosses shouldn’t allow this. Well the truth is that 99% of taxi drivers are in effect their own boss. Most are self employed contractors who actually pay their taxi company’s a weekly fee or “radio rent” to provide them with work via radio or computer screen. Therefore it is up to the driver to go out there into the big bad world and go and earn his or her own wages, paying their own tax and expenses as they go.
No weekly wage packet or monthly pay check for us or guaranteed minimum wage. And no sickness or holiday pay, and if the worst happens no big fat redundancy payments either. If we were to be on a weekly wage I should imagine that the taxi service wouldn’t be half as efficient or as cheap as it is now. I mean if you were getting paid by the hour would you rush round looking for fares that may turn out be difficult or drunk? No obviously not, you would pick and choose your fares, why not you would be getting paid anyway eh!
The reason most of us work such long hours is simply because we have to make up for the times when we are parked with no passengers “if the wheels ain’t turning we ain’t earning.” Mind you I must add that most of the fares we get on our firm are neither difficult nor drunk wonderful folk all of them. Go on get a taxi eh, we need the work.