Unite the union, which represent thousands of taxi drivers across the UK, has accused the taxi-hailing app GETT of ‘greed’ and seeking to ‘profit from the pandemic’.
GETT has announced that it will increase the commission it takes when a customer books a journey through the app from 15 per cent to 20 per cent a 33 per cent increase. The increased charge will come into effect from Monday 8 June.
Loss of work
With customers unlikely to be hailing cabs from the street or risk queuing at taxi ranks, drivers are increasingly reliant on apps such as GETT to generate work.
GETT has claimed that it has been forced to increase its commission due to a decrease in demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but when announcing that commission rates were increasing, there was no suggestion this was temporary or for a limited period.
Unite’s taxi driver members believe that GETT is aiming to eventually further increase commission charges to 25 per cent of fares, which would place it in line with the commission charged by Uber.
Kick in the teeth
Unite national officer for passenger transport Bobby Morton said: “GETT is being greedy, at a time when our taxi driver members have seen their incomes evaporate overnight. This increase is just another kick in the teeth.
“This is a classic case of profiteering in the pandemic. If this was a genuine short-term measure as a result of COVID-19, the company would have said that and provided a commitment to when commission rates will be reduced.
“Due to the need to socially distance and the effect that COVID-19 has had on individual behaviour, bookings through apps such as GETT are increasingly vital for many taxi drivers in order to try to scrape together a living.
“Unite has called on the government to provide specific help and assistance for taxi drivers but those calls have so far been ignored.”