Our trade is like this baby seal, floating on thin ice, in an ocean full of Orcas, closing in for the kill.
Any defence mechanism we've had, has been stripped away by the bureaucracy and red tape of the engagement policy. Half our trade orgs have and still are capitulating to the whims and wants of TfL, while excluding all other representative groups.
They call themselves the United Trade Group, but they are far from united. They meet regularly with TfL but there are no minutes of the meetings, because they are frightened of rocking the boat, incase they themselves become excluded.
In this present climate, with the trade on the floor and the large lady warming her vocal cords, you would have thought the trade would be falling over itself to become more united than ever and yet the reverse is true.
Ask any of the three constituent members of the UTG if they would support a push to remove the engagement policy and you get the same tired answer, that is not their call, it's TfL.
And yet the LTDA have emailed all their members explaining why the engagement policy should stay in place.
'For many years TfL has, understandably (in Steve McNamara's opinion), required trade groups to be able to justify that they have a membership of at least 5% of drivers, in order to be fully recognised and engage with TfL at a senior and mayoral level -a condition that only the LTDA meet- The theory (who's theory Steve, yours and Bob's?)being that without a minimum membership criteria (about 1200 drivers out of the 25,000 total), or a background of long established trade representation -both the RMT taxi branch and UNited Cabbies Group have been established over seven years and the Suburban coalition for much longer - it would be impossible to limit meeting attendances to a practicable and workable level.'
Is Steve McNamara assuming that two members from six orgs/unions couldn't carry out a practicable and workable meeting?
I myself have been in TfL RedRout Forum meetings at TfL with over 24 delegates from 8-9 different groups and enjoyed extremely practicable and workable meetings. Come on Steve surely you can do better than that old chestnut!
"The Engagement Policy" has fragmented the trade, currently only the LTDA, LCDC and Unite are officially recognised. Steve McNamara holds this up as a major achievement?
But then there's the insurmountable hurdle of the one little word.....Kudos.
If it's not their own idea, they won't be backing it!
If their not their glory, then they will steal it!
So why are they doing this:
• Why can't they see beyond the insults of the past?
• Why can't they draw a line in the sand and step over it, leaving what's passed in the past?
• Why can't they step forward for the benifit of the whole trade?
Until the orgs get their act together, forget the insults, throw out the engagement policy and truly unite....we don't stand a chance....just like this baby seal, eventually the ice will melt.