Taxi drivers demonstrated in downtown Nassau yesterday, claiming they are being undercut by tour bus operations — a longstanding concern.
“The taxi drivers have withdrawn services from every taxi stand in Nassau, from the airport…all the way to Paradise Island, so every taxi stand within that perimeter is locked down, discontinued service for the day,” said Bahamas Taxi Cab Union President Wesley Ferguson, speaking in front of dozens of taxi drivers on Prince George Wharf.
He added: “The government needs to come here immediately and diffuse this situation, sit down with taxi drivers, see what their issues are, and resolve it ASAP because there will be no peace in the valley until the government speaks with the taxi drivers.”
Ferguson said the union has 1,100 members. He claimed 800 were “striking”.
When asked how long the withdrawal of services will last, the union president said, “As long as it takes.”
Transport Minister Renward Wells said he met with the union twice and the government is “ready, willing and able” to work with taxi drivers.
“We’ve always been a government that listens and seeks to address, so it can’t be that they say they are not heard because we have listened,” Wells said.
“Now, what they might say is that they haven’t gotten the requisite results on all of the things that they had asked for, and in no situation you get all of the things that you ask for.”
Despite this, Ferguson said the union felt as though Wells was playing politics by promising to reach out to taxi drivers without ever doing so.
“Renward Wells is like any other minister; they play politics with people,” he said.
“They meet with you, promise you the world and all and then they go absolutely quiet. You see, quietness means that we’re ignoring you. That’s the way the union interprets quietness.”
Education: Goldsmith, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice