You will all have seen recent press reports that the law firm Mishcon de Reya is looking at whether there are grounds for taxi drivers to take collective legal action against Uber to claim back their lost earnings as a result of Uber’s illegal operation in London.
Ever since Uber invaded our streets in 2012, they have refused to stick to TfL’s regulations. They’ve intentionally driven down the wages of hard-working cabbies who operate within the rules and strive to maintain the high standards our trade is known for all over the world. We need to hold Uber accountable for its actions, and ensure that people who have lost money receive the compensation they deserve. Mishcon is still in the early stages of setting up the group action, but believes that there is a good case to be made against Uber. We need to get as many drivers as possible to sign up and help us make our case. Should we win, everyone who takes part in the group action will win back a share of their lost earnings from Uber. The case is being entirely funded by litigation funding firm Harbour, at no cost to cabbies. Any driver who is or has been licensed by TfL to operate in London will be able to take part. Even if you are now retired, you may be able to participate if it can be demonstrated that Uber coming to London caused a loss to your earnings. All you have to do at this stage is give your name, badge number and contact details to register your interest in taking part. This alone does not commit you to formally join in the legal action. Mishcon de Reya will then come back to you at a later date with more information about the group action and how it works, and will ask for more details about your individual losses. Uber has been skirting regulation in London at every opportunity to undercut the competition, drive cabbies and smaller local PHV firms out, and exploit its drivers. TfL and a certain magistrate may believe that Uber has changed but it’s clearly just a sham. The big question is, can we go after TfL as well? It’s early days, but the civil courts are a very different place to the criminal courts and all things are possible. I’m constantly told that the trade is divided and that we need more unity. Last week nailed that myth forever when, for the first time, representatives from every part of the trade met at Mishcon’s offices in the Kingsway. All the trade groups, large fleets, garages, apps, credit card processors, advertising and insurance companies, sat down together and agreed to back this action 100%. It is essential that everyone takes part in this group action. The more drivers who join us, the greater the claim. Uber has cost us all money; we must not let them get away with it, we must make them pay up. If you don’t have an internet connection or need help signing up, come to Taxi House in W9, or our office at Heathrow, where we will be pleased to help.