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Do these names mean anything to you?

Unite Cab Section member Kadam Hussain explains why membership is important.

George Loveless, James Loveless, Thomas Standfield, John Standfield, James Brine, James Hammett. Probably not, but they should considering that these noble gents (also  known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs), were responsible for forming The Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers, effectively the first trade union.

They had the audacity to ask for a wage rise of 1 shilling a week from their employers (the landed gentry) to enable them to feed their families. The ruling elite, quickly realising the potential threat to the inflated profits of the landowners from “collective bargaining” punished these good men by transporting them to Australia, labelling them as common criminals under draconian anti-worker legislation which existed at the time.

Modern Unions like Unite are still, sadly, necessary to protect our hard gained rights. For the weekly equivalent of the price of a pint of beer, or if you prefer, a chicken masala, you can belong to an organisation that has an in-depth knowledge of the Taxi industry and the problems it faces. Some of the benefits include, Specialist  legal representation 24hrs a day. Campaigning on issues pertinent to your local area.  Lobbying lawmakers (local and national) in the interests of our trade. Applying pressure, when required, to the enforcement section of the licensing authority for a more robust approach to tackling the ubiquitous problem ‘pirating/flagging’ etc.

Additionally, (to continue the food and drink analogy), for the weekly equivalent of the price of half a pint or a couple of samosas, you can add the ‘driver care’ package to your membership. This gives members some extra peace of mind, as it covers you for assault, loss of HC or driver licence. One of our members in Leeds was attacked by some cretins; Unite handled his case, awarded him substantial financial compensation and won him further monies under the criminal injuries scheme. Singularly, the various agencies we, routinely, have to deal with don’t really take us very seriously…stand together and suddenly they sit up and take notice!

Unite’s taxi section in Leeds is neutral when it comes to the inevitable taxi company politics, concentrating solely on trade issues which effect every single one of us, absolutely no vested interests to influence our agenda or important policy decisions. Run by taxi drivers for taxi drivers. Last but not least, did I mention the monthly subscriptions are tax deductible? PS, as far as I’m aware the Tory led coalition don’t have any impending plans (as yet) to reintroduce ‘transportation’ as a punishment for membership of Unite, although I quite fancy an all expenses paid trip to the land down under…. Kadam Hussain (proud Unite member)

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