Gavin Shuker, MP for Luton South, will today meet with Luton Airport based Addison Lee drivers, during the workers' dispute over pay and conditions.
The drivers, represented by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), are protesting a decision made by Addison Lee to increase vehicle rental fees from £190 per week to £210 per week, as well as increase in their take of fares from 30% to 35%.
As a result, drivers are working as much as 70 hours per week but are still earning between £5 and £6 per hour, well below the £8.75 living wage target set by Luton Council and London Luton Airport for all workers at the airport.
In 2016, Addison Lee paid Luton Airport a reported £2 million for exclusive right to service the airport for 5 years. Luton Council took the highly unusual step of writing to drivers to encourage them to join Addison Lee, who are now placing a heavy cost burden on drivers. Earlier this month, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) judged that Addison Lee denied drivers basic employment rights.
The EAT's judgement agreed with an earlier judgement from the Employment Tribunal which stated Addison Lee drivers were misclassified as independent contractors and should be classed as limb (b) workers, who are entitled to the minimum wage, holiday pay and other worker rights. The IWGB are demanding:
Addison Lee immediately respect collective bargaining rights and enter into pay negotiations with the IWGB
Addison Lee immediately obey the rulings of the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal and respect limb (b) worker rights
Luton Council intervene to regulate Addison Lee and make worker rights a condition of licensing
London Luton Airport must enforce worker rights and payment of the Luton Airport worker's living wage as a condition of Addison Lee's continued right to the airport concession
The IWGB also has a case against Uber in the Court of Appeal, following the decision in the Employment Appeal Tribunal that they were also limb (b) workers.
Yaseen Aslam, lead claimant in the Uber worker rights case and Secretary of the United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD) Branch of the IWGB said: "The treatment of workers by Addison Lee at Luton Airport is truly shocking. Drivers are subjected to bullying and continuous denial of their rights by a company that puts profit before any other consideration. The council and airport authority must now step in to end this abuse."