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Current as of 01/10/14 07:40PM NZST

Airport taxi drivers go on hunger strike

Hunger-striking drivers make their demands heard at Auckland International Airport this morning. Photo / supplied
Hunger-striking drivers make their demands heard at Auckland International Airport this morning. Photo / supplied

Disgruntled taxi drivers have begun a hunger strike and rally at Auckland International Airport today.

Over 100 drivers from five companies have assembled outside the airport's corporate office on John Goulter Drive this morning to push their demands for easier access to customers at the International Terminal.

"We're stepping it up from here on," said Manmohan Singh, the spokesman for the Auckland Taxi Association - that represents protesting drivers from Goldline Taxis, President Taxis, VIP Cabs, Silver Cabs and Auckland Black Cabs.

Talks between the ATA and airport broke down last month when demands including relocating taxi ranks at the international terminal and raising the minimum fare from $20 to $35 were declined by the airport.

Drivers were missing out on fares and now struggled to make a living, said Mr Singh.

The strike follows another last month where drivers walked off the job.

It was not blocking access to airport facilities for customers.

Auckland Airport retail and commercial general manager Richard Barker said the ATA was refusing to participate in more negotiations.

"We've offered to meet with them and they are currently refusing to do so. I am concerned, I don't think anybody should be putting their health and welfare at risk.

"Everyone deserves to make a living and I am concerned people would be doing such radical things as hunger strikes. I don't think it is appropriate and I don't want passengers' first arrival in New Zealand to be disrupted."

He said the group represented only 15 per cent of drivers who operated from the airport.

Mr Barker planned to meet a union representing the group next week to try and resolve the issues.

- NZ Herald

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