National Taxi Union President Lucien Joseph has refuted claims of side-lining the Southern Taxi Association (STA), stating that he has tried everything in his power to represent all the affiliate taxi providers.
Joseph’s comment come on the heels of recent calls by the STA President Francisco Jn Pierre to have him resign his post as president.
In an exclusive interview with St. Lucia News Online (SNO) today, July, 23, Joseph said: “When a man wants to run for politics he sees everything different, especially when he is on the other side.”
The Union president stated that he was even accused of representing only the STA, but explained that “Southern Taxi needs to understand that it is a two-way street and there must be balance in everything.”
Joseph claims that other members of the STA are more committed to the taxi association than its current president.
“He has a permanent job at the credit union. All what he has been doing is coordinating… everything he has been doing from STA, is to bring the budding end to the credit union,” he told SNO.
Further, the union head said the St. Lucia Reps contacted him recently based on a discussion with the STA, to contract a few vehicles, with the intention of distributing the contracts equally among different service providers.
“I even raised concerns with an official of the St. Lucia Reps about consulting with the STA and was told that the association was okay with the arrangement.”
Despite this, the decision did not go down well with the STA.
The STA president claims that the St. Lucia Reps sourced seven 30-seater vehicles, two 40-seaters and one luggage bus from the north. And despite the STA’s current fleet of four 30-seater vehicles, two 40-seaters and one luggage bus, only one 30-seater vehicle was hired from the STA.
However, as it relates to calls by the STA to have him step down, Joseph said the suitable thing to do is to call a meeting to discuss the issue at stake and move on.
“I strongly believe however, even if Jn Pierre is to challenge me for my position he would not even get two votes.”
The STA head claims that they are the authorised taxi-service provider for the airport and should be the first to receive contracts when it comes to hiring buses. T
The STA said it pays in excess of $100,000 to operate out of the Hewanorra International Airport.