‘Not many English people are applying for taxi jobs’

A TAXI FIRM has hailed the ‘unbelievable’ contribution of Romanian drivers following reports that Crawley residents are losing jobs to foreign workers.

The hard-work ethic of the fifteen Romanian drivers employed at Metro Cars has been crucial to the company’s growth, the manager said.

And it is the lack of available English drivers that has led the company to recruit abroad, he said.

Oli Thayre, office manager, made the comments after Crawley MP Henry Smith criticised the recruitment of foreign workers for local jobs.

Oli said: “We’re an equal opportunities employer so we take on anyone as long as they are licensed.

“The Romanian drivers have ultimately made us into a very professional outfit. They are so good for our company we would be lost without them.

“The customer satisfaction has been unbelievable. They’ve helped our company go from 50 to 80 drivers in five years. We’ve had corporate customers ringing up saying ‘we only want Romanian drivers’.

“A lot of drivers are stuck in bad habits, they think they know it all and can do what they want. Romanians take a lot more care over what they do and have a lot more pride.

“Not that many English people are applying for taxi jobs, there just isn’t the demand.”

Earlier this month Crawley MP Henry Smith said: “I was shocked to learn that local residents are apparently losing jobs to foreign workers as positions are being advertised in countries such as Romania. We should be ensuring that, where possible, jobs are filled by British people.

“As a country we have become increasingly restricted by our membership of the EU to ensure local jobs are going to local people who are from this country.”

Stefan Balsanu, 44, can earn double the salary he made as an IT professional in Romania driving taxis in Crawley.

He said: “I don’t think its true we are taking English people’s jobs. There’s a gap in the market and someone has to fill it.

“The system over here protects people but too many people abuse it. In our country it’s shameful to take benefits. I would rather die in Romania then take benefits. I don’t know if I’ll stay but I hope the UK does not go to the Eurozone. Look what happened in Greece.”

Fanel Mocanu, 33, is trained in electrical engineering but joined Metro Cars two weeks ago to provide for his wife and two boys in Romania.

He said: “I was paid well in Romania but after the economic collapse I had to change. I needed more money for my babies so I came here because if you work hard you can earn more money.

“I’m very happy to be in the UK. I will see how it will be for me in the future. If it’s OK I will bring my family over, if not I will go back.”

Antonel Tatucu, 34, has a background in accounting and moved to Crawley four years ago with his wife.

He said: “I make a good living but I have to work very hard – 14 hours a day sometimes six days a week. I can live the same life as I would in Romania but I like life here. The good thing about taxi driving is you can make your own programme. If you’re sick you don’t have to go to to work.”