Tuesday, May 24, 2016

It's Not Uber Killing The Trade, Its The Engagement Policy...Letter To Editor.

One of the biggest demos this trade has seen in past years, stunned TfL, taking them by complete surprise. The trades success in 2009, dealing with the first official Private Hire rank in central London, (a leased TfL bus stand in Whitcomb Street) was unprecedented.

Guarded at night by police officers, it spawned a massive drive-in, referred to in the press as the new Battle of Trafalgar. 

Just after this, the news broke that TfL had let a wife killing, PHV driver on the knowledge. After two united trade mass protests, complete with the newly formed RMT taxi branch, he was slung off the knowledge and shortly afterwards Director of TfLTPH Ed Thompson, was removed from Taxis and Private Hire. 

Fearing bigger and even more potent demos from the trade with the run up to the Olympics looming, TfL knew they had to come up with a plan to ensure they could push through all their controversial plans to deliver the Olympics on target.

The engagement policy was born mid 2010, a stroke of pure genius, invented by new boy John Mason. 

Mason's idea was to lay down certain requirements which only the LDTA could match. But then felt the arrangement would look bad if only the one group signed the policy (could have caused even more uproar amongst the rank and file). So, Unite and LCDC were invited to sign up, even though neither one conformed to the policy requirements. 

The RMT and the newly formed United Cabbies Group were barred from the policy as TfL felt they were the main antagonists. The decision to black ball these two groups, was also backed by all three members of the newly formed United Trade Group. 

TfLTPH's idea was, the LCDC and Unite would be too hesitant to rock the boat, for fear of expulsion from this new elite new group.

The LTDA had the seat on the board of TfL dangled like a carrot in front of a donkey. 

Just a thought: As Bob has always insisted he didn't represent the trade or his members directly on the board of TfL, should he be asked to pay back his salary for the time he spent away from his secretarial post at a Taxi House?

Anyway that was the plan, to divide and keep the trade quiet, which has worked well for six years

It's still working today!

We've recently been informed by TfL, the policy will continue under the new Mayor.

We've had the TfL Commissioner caught in an sordid affaire with a £140 an hour sex worker he came across while surfing a sex website, adultwork.com. 
The UTG kept quiet.

We've had a minicab firm in West London receiving multiple PHV roundels in a brown envelope without having to present their vehicles. No prosecutions resulted.
The UTG said nothing.

We've had the forged Taxi driver licenses that turned up in a badge and Bill check in the city. Alleged to have originated from the move to Palestra, again  
The UTG said nothing

We've had Uber Licensed in contravention of the 1998 act conditions of fitness (no land line, no facility for pre-bookings, customer details kept on server in USA)
And again the UTG have said and done virtually nothing. 

We've had the driver renewal scandal with Hendy stopping the issue of temporary licenses saying Taxi drivers couldn't be trusted...
The UTG did and are still doing nothing about this.

We now have the Ubergate emails.....do you see the pattern!

As for Richard Massett's joint ranks committee, the Mayfair mob have shown them up big time. 
Without any trade org affiliation, they managed to get ranks implemented at Hakkasan, Novikov's, Sketch, Bread Street, extension at Forge and repaints of many other ranks seen fading away.

So, someone please tell me why two trade representative orgs and one Union are still having elitist, un-minuted secret squirrel meetings with TfL?

What do their members feel is being achieved by their representatives capitulation to TfL's demands?

While the engagement policy is in place we have no chance to win or change anything.
We need TfL to negotiate with the whole trade, not simply consult with the teacher's pets.

Every org has good ideas. The UTG ideas no matter how good, seldom seem to get past the LTDA, who seem to speak to TfL on behalf of the trade as a whole.

Those outside the UTG, if they act alone get called splitters and anyone from outside an org who comes up with an idea, is said to have ulterior motives. 

The recent week long demonstrations from Dads Defending Daughters, produced positive results. Unbelievably, the LTDA have now jumped all over this and are claiming the sole kudos. 

It's not Uber that's killing the trade, it's the engagement policy.

It should be the aim of every driver in our trade to get this engagement policy scrapped.

Regards Jonathan Wyett (retired)


Anonymous said...

The meetings with TFL and Boris Johnson were not minuted for a very good reason....


Anonymous said...

Uber really are killing us. But you make some very valid points. The trade and it's relationship with TFL has been very low since the Olympics.

We have achieved nothing concrete whatsoever. Nothing that really benefits the trade anyway.

The road management policy, the rise of Uber and TFLs strange hatred of the cab trade have all conspired to hugely damage the trade.

So many opportunities for the trade as a whole to stop the rot have passed us all by. Weak representation from the trade has facilitated this, to a degree, but we are genuinely under threat from so many angles, I fail to see a positive outcome even if we all band together now.

Sad state of affairs.

Dizzy Disgruntled said...

The United Trade Group are the reason the taxi trade is on its knees.

A small elite group of shysters destroying the careers of over 25,000 good honest hardworking taxi drivers.

If you are a member of the LTDA LCDC or Unite you should dump them now before they dump you on the scrapheap.

TfL's agenda is to kill us and these clowns are doing nothing to protect us other than keeping the 2 groups who wont bend over out. Dump them now before its too late!

Dizzy Disgruntled said...

Also you forgot Satellite Offices and the Olympics. These spineless toothless clowns did nothing to even try and stop those!

Satellite offices seriously decimated our work and were the start of the rot.

Dump the UTG now!

Dizzy Disgruntled said...

Did I mention the 15 year age limit?

You know the one we are all paying for now.

Dump the today!

Anonymous said...

To be clear, there is no “hidden agenda” or “secret plans” to destroy the taxi

There have been no secret deals behind closed doors between TfL and
members of the taxi associations you oppose. No requests have ever been made by
TfL to trade papers not to publish anything from the STaN presentation and no
concessions have been sought from taxi driver associations for not doing so.

John Mason

Tony C said...

The UTG are as culpable of the destruction of the cab trade as Mason was. Thanks to the UTG's incompetence we now have 100,000 mini-cab drivers plying for hire. The RMT & UCG can't be blamed because we weren't allowed into meetings where some decent opposition, and maybe, some negotiation could've happened. Instead Steve Macnamarra, Grant Davies and representatives from Unite, colluded with TFL to exclude a transport trade union, and a trade organisation with some of the most passionate members in the trade.

With the new mayor this 'engagement policy' should've been ripped up and a true United Trade Group formed. One where the heads of the unions & organisations went to meetings with TFL and demanded the end of just consultation and the start of real negotiation. But instead the cosy club have decided to keep the status quo. The thing you have to ask is why? What is it they have to hide?

Tony Cook

Brian said...

Total clearout. All of them. That is what is needed.
The people that have been in charge up to now are ocean going buffoons.....or worse.
Not only has our business been destroyed, but legitimate phv has gone down the toilet as well.
And all for what ? A company that's been insolvent from day one, that wouldn't exist except for venture capitalist welfare.
One hundred thousand minicab drivers, and rising.
Congestion, pollution & human sewage, this is the ' disruption' that afflicts our city.
The astonishing driving, jaw dropping....
And of course the sexual crimes of these individuals, that they see as a perk of the job.
Is anybody in charge at all ?

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Mason, please excuse me if I doubt your word.

It is my belief that you, some before you, and some after you, pretend that you give a shit. But I think that you, some before you and some after you, talk a lot of shit because it is, or was, your job to do so.

Best love,
A Millwall fan

Anonymous said...

Can't disagree with any of the facts Dizzy has made comment on; In actual fact he has nailed it!

When the UTG decided to sell their souls to the devil and accept the 15 year Taxi Age Limit in return for silence about STaN and satellite offices, they were effectively owned by TFL. John Mason sealed the deal by creating the Engagement Policy which excluded other trade organisations and gained him a foot-hole to control trade press publications.

Lets not forget who's Masons mates and stooges were; these very people have gone to great lengths on social media to re-create themselves as passionate advocates fighting for the trades future - when in actual fact they have created a slag trade out of what was a Cab Trade.

Anonymous said...

Well said Dizzy and Tony C, if the UTG showed the same passion and commitment as these two individuals, we wouldn't be joining the scrap heap in the future, ask yourself where is the leadership from the UTG ? What are they so frightened off ...... we're all bloody cab drivers you know !

Anonymous said...

No agenda, what a crock.
There has always been an agenda.
The trouble is, it's taken the UTG six years or more to smell the coffee. Absolute Mason shysters.