Uber lead claimants yesterday called on Sadiq Khan to insist on Uber compliance following the workers’ rights ruling as a condition of London licence.
The co-lead claimants, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam of the App Drivers & Couriers Union (ADCU), have demanded that the Mayor of London intervene to insist the private hire operator comply with landmark Supreme Court ruling as a condition of a continued London licence to operate.
Uber co-lead claimants Farrar and Aslam were ‘dismayed’ by Uber's perceived defiance of the Supreme Court ruling. In the letter they say: “We have been dismayed by Uber’s reaction to the ruling and the deliberate decision of management to misinform Uber drivers about the broader applicability of the ruling. In short, Uber has doubled down on misclassification and is determined to continue with a business model the Supreme Court described as a ‘mischief’. Uber intends to carry on cheating low paid workers out of the right to minimum wage and holiday pay.
“Throughout six years of gruelling legal proceedings Uber insisted that it was not a transport provider but acts merely as an agent of the driver. Uber has concocted this contractual ‘mischief’ for the purposes of avoiding VAT and employment liability. Four separate court rulings have rejected these arrangements as not real in practical or legal terms.
“Further, Lord Leggatt, in writing the majority ruling on behalf of the court, suggests that Uber’s contractual arrangements could not be compliant with regulatory regime supervised by Transport for London under the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998. He wrote:
‘Uber maintains that the acceptance of private hire bookings by a licensed London PHV operator acting as agent for drivers would comply with the regulatory regime. I am not convinced by this.’
“Therefore, the time has now come for you to act to ensure Uber’s compliance and we ask you to now do so urgently.”
The letter continues: “For six long years, the predominately BAME private hire driver community have bravely stood up collectively for their rights and they have won the argument every time. Our victory last week comes after many years of painstaking organising, campaigning, and strategic litigation undertaken by the ADCU and GMB unions.
“Now, there is a very real risk that Uber will simply shrug it off and carry on exploiting as before unless you act now.
“If Uber get away with ignoring the law despite a Supreme Court ruling, it will represent a catastrophic failure of our political, regulatory, and legal system. Moreover, it would represent a terrible betrayal of low paid workers who have worked so hard to collectively organise and are so deserving of your protection.”