Taxi Drivers Rally Against Veezu’s Commission Structure in Sheffield

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In a striking display of dissatisfaction, hundreds of taxi drivers converged outside Veezu’s Sheffield offices today, expressing their discontent over what they perceive as excessive commission rates imposed by the company.

The uproar arises from changes implemented by Veezu following its acquisition of local taxi firm City Taxis in 2023. Formerly operating on a flat 20 per cent commission rate, drivers now allege that Veezu has introduced a variable fee structure linked to the number of completed jobs.

According to accounts provided to BBC and ITV, drivers feel they have become unwitting subjects in a financial experiment aimed at maximising profits at their expense. One driver lamented, “Since Veezu took over things have started to change. The drivers feel that they’ve been manipulated, they’ve been used as experiments for the new fare structure to get money out of them.”

Under the revised system, drivers claim that Veezu’s commission is calculated on a sliding scale, increasing up to 35 per cent for those completing 12-13 jobs per week. This translates to a significant reduction in earnings for drivers, particularly on longer trips such as those to Manchester Airport, where Veezu’s increased take substantially diminishes their remuneration.

The overarching concern amongst drivers is the erosion of their income amidst rising operating costs and the relentless grind of the cost of living crisis. Despite Veezu’s move to lower fares ostensibly to compete with industry titan Uber, drivers contend that the company is now extracting a larger share of dwindling profits, exacerbating their financial plight.

Reflecting on the impact of these changes, one veteran driver lamented, “Our fares have come down, the price of fuel has gone up, insurance has gone up this year by 25-30 per cent, what we’re paying to them is too high and we’re not saving very much. I’ve been doing this job 20 years, I was better off 20 years ago than I am now.”

In response to Veezu’s assertion that the revised rates were implemented in the interest of customers, drivers argue that their own cost of living cannot be overlooked. They demand a fairer distribution of earnings, with commission rates adjusted proportionally to the reduced fares.

Veezu, however, maintains that as self-employed individuals, drivers have the autonomy to negotiate commercial terms, hinting at ongoing discussions with drivers regarding potential amendments to the fee structure. A spokesperson for the company remarked, “As self-employed drivers running their own businesses, several of the drivers have proposed commercial terms which Veezu is considering and will be discussing with them in the coming weeks.”

As tensions simmer between Veezu and its drivers, the situation underscores broader issues within the gig economy, where workers often grapple with precarious income streams and limited bargaining power. With both parties seemingly entrenched in their positions, the outcome of these negotiations will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for the livelihoods of Sheffield’s taxi drivers.

In conclusion, the standoff between Veezu and its drivers epitomises the growing friction between platform-based companies and their workforce in an era marked by economic uncertainty. As the debate rages on, the need for equitable solutions that balance the interests of all stakeholders becomes increasingly urgent.

Dawn Jackson
Dawn Jackson
Journalist Dawn is an experienced business journalist specializing in regional coverage across the United Kingdom. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for uncovering stories that impact local communities, Dawn brings a unique perspective to her work. Through her insightful reporting, she keeps readers informed about the latest developments in various regions, shedding light on the economic landscape and entrepreneurial endeavours. Dawn's dedication to delivering accurate and engaging business news makes her a valuable asset to the News Write Ups team.

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