Last month in TaxiPoint we exclusively brought you the news of the impending partnership between Tesco and Uber. We revealed that the nature of that partnership involved Tesco Clubcard points being redeemed for Uber rides. The news of this partnership prompted a flurry of angry emails from Taxi Drivers and their families all over the country as well as a few raised eyebrows in the mainstream media including Eddie Nestors show on BBC Radio London. Tesco subsequently released a statement neither confirming nor denying that a deal was imminent despite overwhelming evidence confirming that a deal had been done.
We can now reveal that Tesco and Uber are officially in partnership. This will no doubt anger in excess of 100,000 Taxi Drivers as well as their families across the country who feel that Tesco have not taken any of their concerns on board.
Uber have been a controversial thorn in the side of the Licensed Taxi Industry for several years and has been banned in a number of countries and cities across the world due to a myriad of concerns over their safety, legality and the ethics surrounding their workforce. In London between 2015 and 2016 there were 32 allegations of sexual assault against Uber drivers, this number may well have increased between 2016 and 2017 as it was revealed via a freedom of information act request to the Metropolitan Police that there have been 48 allegations of sexual assault where an Uber driver has been directly accused or a reference has been made to Uber within a statememt in relation to an assault, this represents a 50% increase on the previous year. They are also embroiled in a major employment tribunal case surrounding aspects of their drivers working practices and rights which could have an impact on their business model.
The big question now is will the Taxi industry and their families across the UK boycott Tesco as a result of this partnership, a boycott which could potentially make a half a billion pound dent in Tescos profits or will there be some wailing, a little gnashing of teeth and then a return to business as usual. Either way somebody will profit from this situation and the big winners could be Sainsburys, Asdas, Morrisons, Lidl and Aldi.
The reaction from drivers and trade associations on social media highlights the discontent amongst the trade. Only time will tell.