‘$8 an hour’: Sydney cabbie’s COVID plight


Sydney's Dennis Gouskos has been driving taxis since 1993 but says 2020 has been "the worst year ever".

With airports all but closed and events all but non-existent, his income has dropped by at least 75 per cent.

The Sylvania resident still drives his regular customer base of people with disabilities who rely on his maxi taxi for general transport but struggles to score any other trips in between.

"You are lucky to get one job every three hours," he said.

"It's very depressing.

"To go out tonight to work, I might as well just go bang my head against a wall, it would be more sane.

"There is nothing there, it is not worth it."

Mr Gouskos, with three children aged 15, 11 and 6, said a lot of taxi drivers were only pulling in about $100 a day.

Watch Dennis in our special Jobs 360 investigation above.


JOBS 360 is a roundtable discussion on Austrlaia’s jobs crisis.
JOBS 360 is a roundtable discussion on Austrlaia’s jobs crisis.




"That's $8 an hour gross," he said.

"They are basically doing it for cost at the moment.

"It's tough, I'm not making ends meet, I do need help from JobKeeper … but then I worry about what we do after when it's gone and how do we pay it all back in the future?"

Mr Gouskos, 47, said every taxi driver had thought about making a career change - even before the pandemic hit.

Increased competition since the introduction of ride share apps had diminished demand for taxis, now COVID-19 was making the situation even worse.

"I constantly think about it every day but where do I go to guarantee my kids an income (and) how do I leave all my disabled clients high and dry?" he said.

"I am hoping things will increase again but people need to get out more.

"We need people to get some confidence, get out there, put a mask on if you have to but just get out there."


Watch Paul Zahra in our special Jobs 360 investigation above.


Originally published as '$8 an hour': Sydney cabbie's COVID plight