The President of the United Taxi Company (UTC), Ian Joseph, says that a 45-day wait for payment is unacceptable to taxi operators at the seaport.
The drivers, reportedly, are now at the point where they are willing to take industrial action over the non-payment of monies owed by travel agencies.
Tour operators with cruise-line contracts usually sub-contract taxi drivers, who provide transportation between the ships and the tour sites. However, due to the effects of the pandemic on the industry, the usual cycle of payments has been interrupted; and taxi operators are being asked to wait 45 days to be paid for their services.
It is this longer wait time that has agitated the taxi operators.
The UTC President is not directly impacted, since he operates from the airport. However, Joseph says it is unconscionable to expect taxi drivers – who have not worked for almost two years – to bear a further strain now that things are returning to some level of normalcy.
He notes that taxi operators did not receive any financial or other assistance from the Government during the height of the pandemic.
Since the pandemic, taxi operators have been saddled with additional expenses, as they must purchase supplies to ensure the safety of their passengers and themselves, Joseph adds.
The UTC President assures his colleagues at the seaport that whatever action they take will be supported wholeheartedly by his association.