RMT black cab drivers to fight Heathrow minicab plans

Black cab driver members of specialist transport union RMT confirmed today that they will be fighting plans by BAA which would open the door to direct booking of minicabs at Heathrow in a move that has been described as “disastrous” for the licensed taxi trade.

BAA is looking at trialing a deal with Addison Lee and One Transport at terminals 3 and 5 this year which would allow them to operate from reserved bays and from a central booking booth in the car park in direct challenge to the traditional black cab rank.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow, who will be meeting with black cab drivers at Heathrow to discuss the campaign this Thursday lunchtime, said today:

“This plan to deregulate the traditional taxi rank system at Heathrow is a kick in the teeth for those thousands of men and women who have spent years doing the knowledge and who now find that they are being squeezed out by the minicabs.

“If this system, which makes a mockery of the pre-booked status of minicabs, is introduced at Heathrow there is little doubt that it will be rolled out at other airports and possibly rail terminals. The consequences would be disastrous for the licensed cab trade.

“RMT will give full backing to black cab drivers fighting these plans and our fast-growing taxi branch will play a leading role in co-ordinating action.

“Cabbies have proved in recent months that they are prepared to take militant action to defend their trade and their livelihoods. In February, hundreds of cabs blockaded central London in protest at moves to allow minicabs to operate from a rank in Leicester Square. Our members are not going to take these Heathrow plans on the chin without a fight,” Bob Crow said.

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