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GMB Seeks Meeting On 20% Cut In Fares

Thursday, October 16, 2014

GMB Seek Meeting With Addison Lee To Discuss Impact Of 20% Cut In Fares In Response To Uber And Other Changes On Drivers

Drivers, not unlike any other profession, are not happy to accept a 20% reduction in income without any recourse or discussion says GMB

The GMB Professional Drivers Branch is seeking a meeting with senior managers of Addison Lee to discuss recent changes that impact on the income and working conditions of drivers who are members of the union.

In particular GMB want discussions and clarity a number of issues as follows:

  • A recent 20% cut in fares in response to Uber competition.
  • The changes to the driver’s payment schemes which not only could result in VIP drivers having to work very long hours to reach a reasonable income to attain an acceptable living.
  • Pressure on managers to take on more work beyond their existing scope with the expectation of working longer hours.
  • Failures to respond to the need for staff who have requested alternative hours due to changes in parental responsibilities.

Addison Lee was founded by John Griffin in 1975. It handles 10 million passenger journeys per year and employs over 4,000 drivers. It was sold to private equity Carlyle for £300m 18 months ago. There were recent reports that Carlyle has opened an auction for the company.

Steve Garelick, Branch Secretary of the GMB professional drivers branch, said “GMB has asked Liam Griffin the company figurehead and Managing Director Michael Galvin for a meeting discuss the impact of recent changes on drivers.

Michael Galvin recently gave evidence to the Greater London Assembly on behalf of the Licenced Private Hire Association on changes in the industry and no doubt in turn he will want to hear from his drivers.

We need to raise with them drivers facing transferring passengers for 20% below regular fares due to the concerns that Uber who have just dropped their rates by 15%. The passengers may gain in these instances but you can be assured the drivers do not.

GMB need to let them know that drivers, not unlike any other profession, are not happy to accept a 20% reduction in income without any recourse or discussion.

GMB members are aware that Carlyle has opened an auction for the company. There were reports that Singapore public transport operator SMRT was considering an £800m bid but this did not go ahead. This would be £500m more than Carlyle paid for it 18 months ago.

The money required to recover such sums would mean rental income or commissions in the millions extracted from drivers. There are many drivers who feel that a cannon fodder approach is being taken and moral with concerns over future ownership are also creating discontent.”


Contact: Steve Garelick 07565 456 776, or Michelle Bacon 07961 709680 or Mick Rix 07971 268343.  GMB press office 07921 289 880 or 07974 251 823

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