The Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB) intends to appeal the High Court ruling which judged that the Congestion Charge does not amount to unlawful indirect discrimination.
The IWGB say they fundamentally disagree with the Mayor of London’s decision to strip mostly ethnic minority private hire drivers of the congestion charge exemption, while leaving it in place for majority white British taxi drivers, cannot be legally justified; one black cab contributes as much to congestion as one minicab.
Minicab drivers stand to lose as much as £200 per month as a result of Sadiq Khan’s decision to remove the congestion charge exemption.
According to Transport for London (TfL), 94% of licensed minicab drivers are BAME and 71% reside in designated deprived London communities.
Regulations require the registered keeper of the vehicle to pay the charge, but the driver has no regulatory protection to pass the charge on to either the operator or the customer.
The IWGB proposed several alternative solutions that they thought could reduce congestion at equal or greater levels without penalising minority workers in precarious employment who cannot afford these extra costs.
Yaseen Aslam, Secretary of the IWGB's United Private Hire Drivers Branch, said: “Drivers will feel betrayed and angry when they understand the extent of the Mayor and Transport for London’s inappropriate cooperation with Uber and ViaVan. Large ride share firms will pick up a strategic advantage while precarious workers are saddled with the environmental costs which should rightly be borne by corporations and their consumers.”
Dr. Jason Moyer-Lee, IWGB General Secretary, said: “The Judge, Defendant Sadiq Khan, and we all agree that this charge is bad for ethnic minority and female drivers. The question is whether or not the Mayor can legally justify it by showing it's reasonable and there were no better alternative measures to reduce congestion. He hasn't done this and the judge adopted the incorrect legal test when assessing the matter. So now we take the fight to the Court of Appeal. Defendant Khan has gotten away with too much already; the IWGB is not about to give up at the first set-back."