The Independent Worker's Union of Great Britain launched a campaign yesterday demanding Transport for London and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan make worker rights a condition of minicab operators licenses and to reduce the disproportionate regulatory cost burden on minicab drivers. The union says London's 114,000 licensed minicab drivers are currently being squeezed between companies such as Uber and Addison Lee, which deny them basic employment rights and regularly pay them below the minimum wage. They also claim their drivers regulator Transport for London is increasing the licence and congestion charge costs for these drivers but failing to protect them from exploitation and abuse. The IWGB yesterday written to TfL, the Mayor of London and the Greater London Assembly demanding:
Improve the representation of Minicab drivers in TfL's stakeholder programme
Reduce the regulatory cost burden on drivers
That TfL make a respect for basic worker rights a condition of license
That TfL take urgent action to reduce the rate of violence and abuse experienced by minicab drivers
A small protest was held in support of these demands outside City Hall yesterday to coincide with the London Mayor’s question time. Drivers were in the audience as Conservative assembly member Gareth Bacon quizzed Sadiq Khan as to whether proposals to charge minicab drivers to enter Central London was fair.
James Farrar, Chair of the United Private Hire Drivers branch of the IWGB union said: “The Mayor and Transport for London have pursued a cheap minicabs policy while remaining wilfully blind to the resulting worker rights catastrophe. It’s time for the Mayor to defend London’s most vulnerable workers not foster their further exploitation.”