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Taxi drivers in call for AGM

Taxis along Front Street (File photograph)

Demands for an annual general meeting of the Bermuda Taxi Operators Association must be shelved until the coronavirus pandemic passes, the group’s president insisted this week.

David Frost spoke after a February 1 letter from “concerned members of the BTOA” accused him of a “lack of transparency” in failing to allow an AGM, as well as not sharing his talks with government officials.

The letter added: “It is understandable, your reluctance to hold an in-person meeting during the pandemic, but other options were also presented to you.”

It also accused him of failing to complete a constitution for the BTOA.

The group demanded that an AGM and election of officers be held by the end of March.

It added: “We are also demanding to be informed of any and all discussions and decisions with the Ministry of Transport.

“Any decisions made by you without informing the membership, and lack of input and feedback by the membership, is unacceptable.”

The BTOA last held an AGM and elected its officers in 2018.

The letter said the group would meet with Lawrence Scott, the Minister of Transport, to “express our concerns”.

Mr Frost said he had taken legal advice that an AGM held remotely by Zoom would not be appropriate – and that a constitution for the association was in the process of completion.

He added: “An AGM will not be called under pandemic conditions, until such a time that it’s safe. The Premier and the health minister have told us not to have gatherings.

“If we have 60 taxi drivers in a room and one of them tests positive, that means 60 drivers and their families have to quarantine. There would be no taxis on the road.”

Mr Frost said that “most taxi drivers get it” but that some drivers had prompted complaints from passengers over a failure to adhere to health restrictions.

“I went to City Hall the other afternoon and saw guys doing things like hugging each other and not wearing masks. We got 6,000 masks for taxi drivers from the Red Cross.”

Mr Frost said he had heard of drivers ordered to quarantine who had failed to do so, while others were failing to sanitise their vehicles or maintain a sheet of contact details for tracing.

“If someone drives me home and I test positive, and there’s no tracer sheet, what do we do then?”

He added: “Everybody who has the association at heart and the safety of their families at heart, those are the people who understand what’s going on.”

A Ministry of Transport spokeswoman said Mr Scott “does not have any authority as to when and where the taxi drivers have an AGM”.

She added: “He has stressed, however, that according to Health Guidelines, an in-person membership meeting of that nature would be unsafe and should be held virtually.”

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Published April 03, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated April 01, 2021 at 3:55 pm)

Taxi drivers in call for AGM

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