Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Unpaid Labor Cabcharge and other Credit Facilities.

10f. Unpaid Labor Cabcharge and other Credit Facilities.

In a letter I requested information as to the source of the legal obligation of drivers to accept and process Cabcharge credit facilities. [013] A reply from a DOT official (McLoughlin) stated that under the Passenger Transport Act 1990, and regulations thereunder, the so-called "Code of Conduct" (Item 8) reads, "Drivers must accept all charge cards authorised by the Network". [014] A separate letter [015], raising the same issue, received a different response from another DOT official (Wilkinson) [016]. This response claimed "...the administration of Cabcharge does not fall within the scope of the Passenger Transport Act 1990". He argued, it came under the responsibility of the Trade Practices Commission, who authorised Networks, "to take punitive action against members who fail to do so Apart from the issue of whether bailee drivers are "members" of Networks, [017-18] the inconsistencies of these two DOT letters raised queries as to the propriety and legality of enforcement of theCabcharge system. For example there are respectable legal opinions available that the entire "Code of Conduct" is neither covered by thePTA/90 or the regulations there under. Indeed, Bruce Baird described the "Code of Conduct" as merely ``complementary'' and an ``adjunct tothe overall package endorsed by the DOT" without elucidating on its proper legal status back in 1992. [019]

However, despite the fact that Cabcharge puts a 10% surcharge onto every taxi transaction (raising the fare 10% higher than the legislated maximum on the meter) without providing any service ortaking any risks whatsoever, the owners of Cabcharge still expect and compel all the drivers to provide up to half an hour each per shift as free labour for Cabcharge. This is because driver's are compelled to accept all credit cards and process them after they have turned the meter off.

Source: Sydney Taxi Corruption

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