Making taxi drivers heard

Due to protective measures against Covid-19, it is currently difficult to have conversations and counselling sessions in fixed rooms. Anonymous counselling and conversations are prohibited there, even though they are the most important service offered by the Taxi-Soziallotsen. In addition to my work on the street, I am therefore using more time to inform politicians and the public about the situation of taxi drivers.

6 October 2020 by Klaus Meier 

All the versions of this article: [Deutsch] [English]


As taxi incomes have still not improved since the beginning of autumn, in Berlin around 10 euros turnover per hour is currently the rule [1]. Because of the current situation and the fact that anonymous conversations and consultations in fixed rooms are still not permitted, I invest more time in documenting and processing my encounters at the stops.

In my encounters with politicians, I often find that they know little about the situation of the people behind the wheel of their taxis. Many MPs regret that they don’t understand enough about where our shoes pinch.

Meetings in taxis are rarely suitable for discussing the situation of taxi drivers in detail. When this happens, everyone can only talk about themselves and their acquaintances. As a taxi social pilot, I speak to many of my colleagues and ask questions about income, social and professional problems, so I can give the MPs a more comprehensive picture.

On 2 October, I met Susanne Ferschl and Jutta Krellmann, members of the Bundestag for the Left Party, and presented them with a report on the situation of Berlin taxi drivers. [2]

Gradually, I will also meet the parliamentarians responsible for labour policy and transport from the other parties in the Bundestag and especially in the Berlin House of Representatives and try to interest them in the situation of employees and small self-employed people in taxis.

My next dialogue partner this month will be the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller.

For this and all future meetings, I am gathering experiences, positions and opinions from my taxi colleagues.

Logo and illustration by André Wunstorf

[1Most Berlin taxi drivers only receive a gross turnover share of around 40 percent. Their net wage is therefore around 30 per cent of turnover. They therefore currently work for an hourly wage of three to four euros

[2Die Linke im Bundestag, Meat industry gagged? All sectors regulated?, panel discussion, 02 October 2020

Susanne Ferschl is the spokesperson for good work in her parliamentary group and was elected head of Working Group I "Labour, Social Affairs and Health" in spring 2018, making her the deputy chair of the parliamentary group.

Jutta Krellmann is the spokesperson for co-determination and labour in her parliamentary group.

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