The reality of the trades desperate situation finally struck home earlier in the year, when the Chairman of the LCDC Grant Davis, said on the Eddie Nester Radio program, "Because I've dealt with TfL, I know what they say and what they do are two different things. They come on your show and tell everyone, the public on the radio, that everything is going to be fine and dandy. But you read the small print, it never ends up like that Eddie. But then it's far too late down the road. We're just finding that out in the Cab Trade now."
Well, that's was Grant just finding it out.
Others in the trade knew about this for over four years!
This revelation made public, heralded the first sign that all was not well with the exclusive United Trade Group under the engagement policy.
No surprise really, it stands to reason that after getting exactly what they wanted from the United Trade Group leading up to the Olympics, (let's face it, that's what the engagement policy was all about) this would happen. The honours and bonuses dished out, LTPH dismantled and replaced with the Surface Integration Program (SIP), the door to constructive engagement has firmly slammed shut to the trade.
Two members of the elletist group now out in the cold with the other trade orgs they so readily excluded.
AND NOW THEY DON'T LIKE IT.
But someone's still got a crafty foot in the door?
Notice not one word about SIP from the LTDA.
Surely this had been discussed at TfL board level?
Below, is a letter sent to Peter Hendy by The LCDC, almost begging to be let back around the engagement table.
No one likes to witness the public eating of humble pie like this.
To be taken seriously, Grant Davis and the other UTG leaders need to offer a formal olive branch to those they excluded. Whether the excluded orgs will ever trust them again, is a question that only time will tell. You know what they say about people who lay down with dogs!
As far as TfL see it, as long as the board member appointed by the Mayor say's nothing, then the majority of the cab trade is in their hutch.
The clues were always there.
If proof were ever needed about TfL's attitude towards the trade, just think about how aggressive the police got at the pre-Olympic; Aldwych, Hyde Park Corner and Tower Bridge demos, not forgetting the post Olympic; Whitehall demos. Anti-terrorist police were called in, drivers were threatened, harassed, photographed, had their plates and IDs noted, letters were issued to drivers to attend Palestra.
All drivers wanted, was to protest in a lawful and peaceful manner.
Tube and Bus disputes are resolved by union negotiation, to find a solution which safeguards their members and public safety. With a full on strike, TfL have to take negotiation seriously as it costs money the longer it goes on. Demos from the Taxi trade cost TfL, virtually nothing. This is where we need to make the change. Any action we undertake must be planned to cost TfL dearly.
TfL refuse to negotiate with the Taxi trade in the same way they do with the Tube and buses, due to the mechanism of appointing Bob Oddy onto the board of TfL, they therefore have sterilised the trades largest org.
The LTDA aside, the other two UTG organisations are now irrelevant to TfL, as they represent a minimal percentage of the trade. The LCDC now realised this and Unite have all but disappeared along with their paper. The Woodfield Road home guard are never going to challenge the cosy little set up they have been gifted.
25000 drivers with 5000 ancillary trades workers, all stymied because of bad leadership and super sized egos. The trade has been bought to its knees.
But when you are this far down, there is only one way left to go and that is up.
We now have the result of the GLA inquiry which has given us the bullets we so desperately needed to fire back. We must not waste this opportunity.
2015 has to be the year the Taxi trade gets organised and fully unite, the one thing that TfL fear the most, is a truly United front facing them. We need to start making headlines early in the new year, as we are facing the biggest crisis this trade has ever seen and men have come to kill us off.
TfL want us dead.
It's YOUR future!
And yes, there is a future.
But you will have to fight for it.
Will you fight?
Need a bit of cheer after all the gloom and doom?
Watch Aiden Kent, the Singing Cabby.
See link below.