Transport for London announced earlier today (24 September) its decision to issue Uber London Limited (ULL) with a two-month private hire operator licence ahead of consideration of any potential further licensing application. The new two-month micro licence has triggered flabbergasted reactions from some of the taxi and private hire's biggest orgs and unions, none more so than Steve Garelick, GMB's Regional Organiser for the transport and gig economy.
Hitting social media within minutes of TFL's announcement, Mr Garelick said: "Again TFL kick a real decision over Uber in to the long grass. 2 months for what to allow them several more months of court wrangling to avoid licence loss and ignorance or workers rights."
Chair of the Independent Workers Great Britain union (IWGB) James Farrar, said: "Once again, TfL's failure to regulate effectively and Uber's unwillingness to play by the rules has led to the jobs of 40,000 Uber drivers being thrown into uncertainty. Sadiq Khan must use this two-month license review period to insist Uber respect UK employment law as a condition of license."
Only 24 hours earlier, Taxipoint published an open letter from the United Private Hire Drivers union to the Mayor of London, which asked him to step in and take the necessary action needed to make sure the ride-sharing app adhere to UK tax and employment laws.
A TfL spokesperson said: “Uber London Limited has been granted a two-month private hire operator licence to allow for scrutiny of additional information that we are requesting ahead of consideration of any potential further licensing application.” A Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Assoociation (LTDA) spokesperson said: “Granting Uber a two month temporary licence clearly shows that the firm has failed its probabation and is still a huge threat to public safety. “Over the last 15 months Uber were supposed to change its operations for the better, but the firm has continued to shirk its responsibilities. The granting of the shortest operator’s licence ever shows the Mayor doesn’t trust Uber, and neither should Londoners. “It’s time the Mayor pulled the plug on Uber’s immoral operation for good.”
Image: Source; Geograph
Image: Author; Stephen Craven