Beds, Herts & Bucks

Luton Airport taxi drivers strike over pay row

Striking taxi drivers Image copyright IWGB
Image caption The strike by Addison Lee taxi drivers at London Luton Airport started at 05:00 BST on Thursday

Taxi drivers at Luton Airport are staging a 24-hour strike in a dispute over pay and unfair working conditions.

Members of the United Private Hire Drivers Branch (UPHD) of the Independent Workers Union (IWGB), working for Addison Lee, said they were not earning the minimum wage.

Addison Lee, the official taxi rank operator at the airport, said it regularly reviewed its self-employed driver deal.

The strike started at 05:00 BST.

One Addison Lee driver at Luton, Imran Iqbal, said: "On an average week I'm working 65 hours and taking home less than £350.

"We have tried talking to the company, we have tried protesting and now we are left with no other option but to strike."

'Pay increased'

The union said the average hourly wage for drivers working an average of 70 hours a week had fallen to £4.72, due to an increase in the commission Addison Lee takes.

Addison Lee says it is UK and worldwide provider of "premium" car services.

A spokesman said: "We engage directly with our self-employed Luton driver partners to help them earn a decent living.

"We have invested almost £7m in our Luton operation since 2016, which has benefited drivers directly, with average Luton driver partner pay increasing by 11% between 2017 and 2018."

Image copyright LLA
Image caption Taxi drivers and security staff are both striking at London Luton Airport

A spokesman for London Luton Airport said as the drivers did not work directly for them, the matter was between the company and the union.

Strike action is also being taken at the airport by security staff from the Unite union, over new shift patterns.

The airport said there had been "no disruption to passengers, with an average wait time in security of five minutes".

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