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How trade unionism works - an object lesson from the Irish Republic

Ever tried catching a taxi when it is raining? Not easy, is it, what with taxis evidently being water-soluble.

Anyway, taxi driving Irish members of Siptu ('Organising for fairness at work and justice in society') are doing their little bit for the Plain People of Ireland:

"Taxi customers face possible disruption at Dublin airport this morning as drivers stage a protest over the lack of appeals process with the Taxi Regulator and the number of taxi licences being issued".

Surely they must be seeking more taxi licences, yes?


"We are in a situation where every industry in the country is laying people off and Commission for Taxi Regulation is issuing taxi licences. There is something morally wrong here".

There you have it, they are so keen on 'fairness at work and justice in society' that they seek to restrict the entry of qualified people into a line of business where demand exceeds supply. Anyone would think that this union is no more than a re-badged mediæval guild. Arguing that their own selfishness is morally right is particularly cute.

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Blogger Blue Eyes said... 10:04 am

Livingstone got a lot of stick for trying to break open the black cab closed shop in London.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 10:04 am

This is entirely typical of taxi-drivers.

They are the original "barriers to entry" suckers at the state teat.

All over the UK too, you'll find them petitioning local councils to reduce the number of licences.

It is a typical result of excessive regulation being administered by unimaginative time-servers.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 10:09 am

Another thing they do is to petition the council for ever-increasing requirements on the specification of vehices used for taxis.

This is why, in my home town, all taxis are now people-carriers(no, really).

It used to be that any full-size four-door vehicle with at least a 2-litre engine and not more than three years old could be used.(Why? So as to keep competition out, of course)/

Then the existing drivers all lobbied for compulsory use of eight seater vehicles with wheelchair access. Council agreed - some of them are probably taxi-drivers themselves.

Result - even fewer people can afford to set up in the business even if they could jump through the (mostly artificial) hoops required to get a licence.

So the rates can be raised yet higher.

Next year perhaps they'll be trying to require sixteen seaters, or only this year's model, or something.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:20 am

BE / Anon - I am not going to damn taxi drivers for looking to their own interests, I just find the clothing they dress it up in rather amusing. I do not doubt that hairdressers, window cleaners, pizza chains etc etc would all do the same if they could. And lawyers already do....  

Blogger Blue Eyes said... 11:03 am

Indeed, it is everyone's prerogative to look after one's one interests. Which is why we have a parliament to balance these things out. My own view is that taxi licences and law qualifications should be based on an absolute skill set rather than by overall numbers.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:17 am

BE - That makes two of us.  

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