PROTESTERS marched through Oxford this afternoon in support of a taxi driver who claims he was sacked simply because he was a trade union organiser.  

About 100 GMB members marched through the city in support of Mohammed Fadlalla, a married father of three, who was told his services were ‘no longer needed’ by 001 Taxis in January. 

The march started outside 001 Taxis’ office in St Aldate's and continued through wind and rain, to the company’s other base in Osney Mead, west Oxford. 

Orange, white and black flares were lit and GMB flags were waved before the protest wound through Oxford – slowing buses in Queen Street because of protesters inadvertently walking into their paths.  

Mr Fadlalla first worked for 001 Taxis in 1998, and joined the GMB a year ago, after what he claimed were disputes with management. 

His main duties were driving children with special needs to and from school.

Within a couple of months he was a GMB organiser, though he said trying to recruit members to the union did not win him favours with the company, which employs about 300 drivers. 

He was 'sacked' on January 5 and has been feeding his family by borrowing money from other taxi drivers since. The 49-year-old, from Marston, led the march with his wife, Nawal, and children, Mazia, 13, Ahmed, 11, and Leena, eight. 

Mr Fadllala said of the turnout: “I feel overwhelmed. Everyone’s here to support me. It’s just representative of the GMB.” 

The Oxford Brookes graduate worked for 001 for about 10 years. He then completed a degree in sound technology and digital music between 2007 and 2011 before resuming his work for the company.

Mick Rix, GMB national officer, said: “We’re stood outside a horrible company. Quite a number of taxi operators across the country employ the same tactics. 

“There’s an old saying in the trade union movement: ‘an injury to one is an injury to all’, and we aren’t going anywhere.” 

A tribunal into Mr Fadlalla's dismissal is due to begin in Reading on February 28.

001 Taxis was contacted by the Oxford Mail but declined to comment.