Dear Sir, my father was a city cab driver for many years and always insisted that airports attracted the worst in his trade.

While he would prefer to keep active with several short hires per hour, airport drivers would rather laze around, bemoaning their lot waiting for hours for one or two big hits per day. At an international airport the situation worsens as it attracts dishonest drivers where most of their big hits are as lambs for the slaughter - the passengers not knowing their destination, the money, the fare nor the language.

This applies worldwide and Palma airport is no exception. Most countries have had to mount controls to ensure cabbies act correctly (including Heathrow where Traffic Wardens had to be brought in to eliminate “minders” who were extorting both the passengers and drivers).

Our local Mallorcan politicians have always shown a gutless reluctance to discipline these drivers often because of the physical intimidation these men muster when in a crowd. As a result the majority of airport taxi drivers have become accustomed to defrauding their passengers (and incidentally the taxi owner and the tax man).

By refusing to take short hires, leaving the meter off and plain overcharging, many of our guests to the island are robbed on arrival just as sure as visitors to the Cathedral risk the same from the Gypsy flower women.

The current strike at the airport is driven solely by greed.

Not here the brotherly love of trade unionists sharing the work load. The objective is to maintain their monopoly to continue working the minimum and taking the maximum.

The same strike action would result if the airport introduced the Argentinean system where fares are pre-paid in the airport to the drivers co-operative. Unfettered exploitation of the passenger is the aim.

Fortunately this time our local politicians are largely excluded from decision making over this matter. Long may that continue.

These are the same far thinking policy gurus who have brought us water shortages and power cuts.

These power outages will soon be aggravated by the stop-gap construction of electricity guzzling desalination plants.

To avoid having a fan club of cabbies at my door I would prefer to remain anonymous.


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