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'DRIVERS ARE DROWNING IN DEBT': App Drivers & Couriers Union write open letter to gig-economy bosses

Updated: Dec 27, 2021

Image credit : ADCU remixed

The App Drivers & Couriers Union (ADCU) have written to a number of private hire operator firms, including Uber and Addison Lee, calling for urgent change in the new year.

The open letter, titled 'URGENT - Action to rescue your UK private hire business', and addressed to Dara Khosrowshahi (Uber CEO) Markus Villig (Bolt CEO) Bhavish Aggarwal (Ola CEO) and Liam Griffin (Addison Lee CEO), addresses some of the issues drivers have faced caused by the structure of business adopted by gig-economy firms, plus the impact the pandemic has had on the industry.

Written by James Farrar, General Secretary of the ADCU, the letter stresses that drivers have been 'brought to their knees' with incomes collapsing, while the firms themselves have 'flourished'.

The letter goes on to say: 'However, it is time now to pay attention to the real value creator in your collective business model - the drivers.

'While your drivers have had a torrid time, they have shielded you from much of the pandemic downside. They absorbed the true enterprise-wide operating debt while you illegally escaped employment costs. But now it's time to give back.'

Farrar goes on to highlight areas and changes that can be made which the ADCU feel could help drivers going forward:

  • All apps to reduce commission to zero for the first quarter of 2022, and then raise them to 10% maximum for the second quarter. For Addison Lee - no rental costs for Q1 and a maximum charge of 40% of current rates thereafter.

  • All operators to pay minimum wage at a minimum plus holiday pay for all working time including waiting time.

  • Fares to increase to a minimum of £2 per mile off peak and £3 per mile on peak.

  • Unfair summary dismissals have to stop.

Farrar concludes: 'For us all to enjoy a much brighter and more harmonious 2022 together, I suggest you put all the above points into action immediately without dithering our delay. If you do so, I promise you will thank me for it in twelve months from now and so too will your investors.'


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