Over 90% drivers working from Luton Airport voted for the 24-hour day of action organised by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB).
The strike, which is the first ever in the company’s history, follows months of protests after Addison Lee increased the commission it takes and rose its vehicle rental costs, pushing drivers well below the National Minimum Wage.
An average driver at Luton Airport works 70 hours a week and earns just £4.72 per hour, but IGWB reports that the company has been unwilling to negotiate to improve these terms.
Meanwhile, the IWGB claims that the two billionaire founders of US-based private equity fund Carlyle – which owns Addison Lee – were paid $183 million in compensation and dividends last year.
One of the strikers, Imran Iqbal, said: “On an average week, I’m working 65 hours and taking home less than £350. So while I’ve been earning far below the minimum wage, Addison Lee’s owners made tens of millions of dollars last year.
“We have tried talking to the company, we have tried protesting and now we are left with no other option but to strike. We owe it to our families and each other to keep on fighting until Addison Lee delivers a fair deal.”
Addison Lee has the exclusive right to operate at Luton Airport after it was awarded a £2 million contract to provide the service by the local council.
On the day of the strike, drivers will stage a protest outside of Luton Town Hall between the hours of 10am and 12 noon in an attempt to put pressure on the Luton Council to enforce the minimum wage through its actions as a licensing authority.
Yaseen Aslam, a branch secretary at IGWB, said: “With this strike we want to send a message not only to Addison Lee, but also the council: Do your job as a regulator and stop letting these companies drive your citizens into abject poverty.”