Local taxi drivers say many are working 15-hour shifts but can “barely afford a packet of crisps” due to a lack of financial support.
Dundee driver Jim Harris, co-founder of new group Scottish Taxi Trade United, said many in the industry are at “breaking point”.
As Dundonians begin to get used to Tier 3 restrictions from today, Unite the Union say there are reports drivers are being forced to turn to foodbanks while working long hours.
Mr Harris said the situation is desperate.
“There needs to be advanced discussions on a tailored support package for the taxi industry because it is on its knees,” he said.
“Without this, there is a very high probability that the taxi trade will go down the drain.
“Many are in rent arrears, council tax arrears, and owe all kinds of fees. They are working for most of the day and night but can barely afford a packet of crisps.”
Covid-19 restrictions on the hospitality industry such as the closure of bars and curfews have seen customer numbers dwindle in recent months.
Despite this, some drivers claim they have been unable to access money through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme or the Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund.
Meanwhile many of those that have say the amount given is not enough to cover continued losses.
Dundee driver Chris Elder, Unite the Union branch secretary, said the industry has “exhausted all avenues”.
He said: “Our wages are down at least 80%.
“I have heard some have had to go to food banks to help feed their families.”
Both men say there are ongoing discussions over a possible nationwide protest.
The Scottish Government says it is doing all it can to support workers affected by restrictions.
It claimed the UK Government has significantly reduced the level of support for self-employed workers and called for a U-turn.
A spokesperson said: “We appreciate that taxi and private hire cars provide a valuable service to both residents of and visitors to Scotland.“We have urged the UK Government to end the uncertainty for self-employed people, and ensure that they are not left behind in the ongoing response to this crisis.“We would encourage eligible self-employed taxi drivers to apply to the UK Government’s self-employed scheme.
“Taxi companies who have staff on furlough can continue to claim through the Job Retention Scheme until 31 October, after which the new Job Support Scheme will be in place.”
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