It's now been over a week since the momentous decision made by Transport for London to strip Uber of its operators licence. Since then we've seen an assault on the black taxi trade, lobbying from all quarters, a questionable petition and a government supportive of Uber despite the sordid facts. For me and many other cabbies we expected this onslaught. It is what Uber do. Despite saying sorry and giving a promise to change their ways to save 40,000 jobs, they were soon back to their old ways for the employment tribunal appeal days later. Suddenly they had no employees or responsibilities and many interviewed including their number one mouthpiece, Steve Rowe, said that most drivers work across many platforms and like the flexibility Uber has to offer. Would the Conservative government be so protective over them 40,000 'jobs' if it were technology that displaced them? I'll let you decide.
Let's also get this straight; the driver regardless of his working status with Uber is not losing his or her job. The driver holds their own licence and are free to work for any reputable Private Hire firm in the capital. Drivers have their own responsibility to work for a company that works in the best interest for themselves and their industry. The majority of Private Hire drivers chose to stay away from Uber. All licensed taxi drivers said no to the offer too. Those 100,000 drivers from both tiers of the industry did their due diligence on a company that has caused havoc around the world. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Uber were not going to receive an extension. Do I have sympathy for drivers on the Uber platform? No. They knew full well they were being used and abused whilst we wait for the first sight of driverless cars. It was a fast buck with huge risk attached to it. The drivers that have supported the ethos and culture of Uber are as much to blame as the company themselves.