On Wednesday evening, around 140 drivers for Capital Cars gathered in the feeder taxi rank at Edinburgh Airport to protest against charges set by the taxi company.
Seven Sevens Cars Limited, who trade as Capital Cars, are charging a 25% commission rate, on top of extra airport charges, which drivers have described as “unfair”.
One cabbie, who took part in Wednesday’s strike, told the Evening News: “Drivers are struggling so much.”
“We used to work for around 30 to 40 hours a week.
“Now, every single one of us is working 60 to 70 hours a week, just to make a living.”
He said that the situation has been made worse by the increase in fuel prices, and added: “After paying all this, we don’t have anything left”.
The strike affected many airport customers, who were seen waiting for cabs in a massive queue. The cab driver estimated that some passengers waited for “hours and hours” to get a taxi ride.
One fed-up passenger said: "Trains are largely unavailable and we needed to get back home so it was pretty disappointing to see a taxi rank in the middle of a dispute and a queue of people waiting to try and get away from the terminal building. Making the passengers suffer is not going to solve any issue these drivers have."
However, the cab driver justified the action, saying: “No-one wanted to go on strike. But nobody is hearing us at the moment, nobody cares.”
"Every single driver is suffering".
He has urged Stephen Rose, the company’s director, to come up with a solution quickly. The group of striking drivers are threatening to continue the strike action next week, if their demands are not met.
A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said: “It’s disappointing that passengers were inconvenienced by this protest from taxi drivers. We hope drivers and their employers can resolve their differences quickly and continue to offer a good service for passengers.”
A spokesperson for Capital Cars said: “First and foremost, I would like to apologise on behalf of the majority of our drivers being unable to attend Edinburgh Airport last night due to the disappointing action taken by a small minority of our drivers. This is not a situation that we condone and indeed have been in dialogue with these drivers for quite some time to determine a solution to their issue.
“In response to the driver’s comments of our charges being "unfair", we don’t agree with this at all. Our charges have not changed since the start of the Covid epidemic when many of our driver were struggling to survive. Now the average driver take home income has increased significantly past pre pandemic levels.
"We have, and always will support the majority of our drivers who want to work with us going forward. We are currently conducting a survey of drivers views into our charges with the results due to be through in the next few days, and we will be guided by those views from the majority.”