Rank taxi drivers have threatened to resume their protests following claims that the Minister for Infrastructure slammed the door on further debate over fare reforms.
Industrial action sparked by a raft of fare reforms – including moves to “simplify” tariffs and absorb all ‘extras’ into a fee of just 20p – saw mass disruption to travellers at the Island’s ports last month, causing private hire cabs to be drafted in to manage the flow last-minute.
Today the Jersey Taxi Drivers Association (JTDA) has stated that drivers feel there is “no alternative” but to strike again, arguing that the new price points were based on “flawed and unreliable” information.
In a statement, the organisation also blasted proposals to make public rank taxi drivers affiliate themselves with a company by 2021, which they claimed were “discrimination.”
Leader of the JTDA Mick Tostevin recently told Express that he had hoped for mediation after failed attempts to directly negotiate with the Minister, but the organisation learned this week via email that Deputy Noel, “…is not wiling to mediate.”
Pictured: Public ranks like the Weighbridge could be left empty again if strikes continue.
They have now referred their concerns to the States Complaints Board, commenting in a statement:
“Therefore and following an emergency meeting this morning it was decided that the drivers are being given no alternative, apart from complaining to the States own Complaints Board and are being forced towards further “action” in the near future. We will continue to protest against the Minister, Deput’y Eddie Noel's proposals and the way in which the whole process has been so badly handled.”
Deputy Eddie Noel, Minister for Infrastructure said: “I am disappointed that once again we are only hearing about this through the media. After the last action, we specifically asked the Jersey Taxi Drivers Association to give an assurance to the department that at least one week’s notice of any industrial action would be provided.
We completely disagree that the information used in the calculation of the new tariffs is flawed. The necessary Law for the introduction of the new fares and charges has now been made and the new tariffs will come in to place for all taxis/cabs on the 1 July as previously stated
The JTDA has contacted us requesting mediation. I, as Minister, act as the Regulator for the industry and as such mediation is not an appropriate process, however we advised them that the appropriate body for a complaint against a decision of the Minister is the independent Public Complaints Committee”.
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