November 2022, Virtual
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
A union representing private hire drivers is preparing to take legal action against Transport for London (TFL) as Uber’s licence in the city comes up for renewal.
Union GMB says it has written to TFL “to ensure the safety of both the public and private hire drivers in London” with Uber’s five-year licence to operate in London due to be renewed on May 31.
GMB says it has made this move to “ensure they [TFL] force Uber to guarantee safe working practices and basic employment rights, like minimum wage and holiday pay”.
The union won a legal victory over Uber in October when an employment tribunal ruled that its drivers were entitled to be paid the national minimum wage and benefits such as holiday pay.
Although Uber has appealed against this ruling, with the appeal due to be heard in September.
Warren Kenny, GMB’s regional secretary in London, said: “We want to remind TFL of their obligations to all London transport users and not just to powerful lobbyists at Uber, and hope they will decide to impose the reasonable conditions we have requested to Uber’s licence.”
Transport for London has said it does not comment on individual licence applications.
An Uber spokesperson said: “Almost all taxi and private hire drivers in the UK have been self-employed for decades and with Uber they have more control over what they do.
“The vast majority of drivers who use Uber tell us they want to remain their own boss as that's the main reason why they signed up to us in the first place."