New Economics Foundation welcomes Uber court defeat and pushes for driver control

Stefan Baskerville, Principal Director for Unions and Business at the New Economics Foundation, welcomed the decision dismissing Uber’s appeal against an employment tribunal ruling. The new ruling means Uber should have to treat its drivers as “workers” who are entitled to basic rights such as the minimum wage and holiday pay. 

Baskerville said "This ruling is a victory for the drivers who have fought for their basic working rights. It will have implications for other parts of the so-called “gig” economy, and help to turn back the trend of workers being increasingly exploited by digital platform companies.

"But to address the huge imbalance of power in the gig economy, there is so much more to do. Uber still faces having its licence revoked in London following TfL’s ruling that it is not a ‘fit and proper’ company to run taxi services in the capital. These concerns are not going away. "That’s why at the New Economics Foundation we are developing a new ride-hailing app, owned by its employees and which gives a fair deal to both drivers and passengers. Our alternative will keep transport accessible, low-cost, fast, flexible and easy for all. "We are working with trade unionists, tech partners and passengers to build something better than Uber – a driver-owned alternative that is just as convenient and competitive on price, but treats its passengers and drivers with respect. "The new service ­– which we are provisionally calling CabFair ­– will put drivers and customers firmly in control.”

NEF is crowdfunding £30,000 to help:

• Research the technology, legal framework, financial models and experiences of other taxi coops internationally. 

• Co-produce with drivers and passengers a blueprint for creating and running CabFair. 

• Develop a viable business plan. 

• Engage with key political and regulatory decision makers. 

• The blueprint and business plan will provide the vital foundation for launching a new driver-owned alternative to Uber in London. 

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