GMB begins legal process against TfL to force Uber’s hand

UberThe GMB has started the process for legal action against Transport for London to ensure they force Uber to guarantee safe working practices and basic employment rights for drivers.

The union has written to TfL before it renews the company’s five-year licence on May 31, reminding members of their statutory responsibility to ensure the safety of both the public and private hire drivers in London.

Uber’s current business model necessitates drivers to work excessive hours and TfL must impose conditions to secure the health and safety of drivers, passengers and other road users before the renewal of Uber’s Private Hire Vehicle operator’s licence.

The letter from GMB states that for TfL to properly and lawfully discharge its statutory obligations it must make sure Uber:

–       Limit and enforce maximum, daily, weekly and annual hours a driver is permitted to work in London

–       Limit the number of drivers permitted by Uber to work within London

–       Ensure Uber drivers in London are paid a minimum guaranteed income

In October, GMB won a ground-breaking victory against Uber meaning drivers are entitled to be paid at least the national minimum wage and holiday pay amongst other benefits.

This landmark case has major implications for more than 30,000 drivers across England and Wales and Uber are currently contesting the decision in the employment appeal tribunal.

GMB London regional secretary Warren Kenny said: “GMB stand at the forefront of ensuring a fair balance between the respective rights of employers and workers in the logistics and private hire transport sector.

“We want to remind TFL of their obligations to all London transport users and not just to powerful lobbyists at Uber, and hope they will decide to impose the reasonable conditions we have requested to Ubers licence.”

GMB Legal Director Maria Ludkin said: “We have widespread evidence of a culture of excessive hours being driven by workers frequently being paid below the living wage as they try to make ends meet.

“We hope TFL will take their responsibilities as a transport regulator as seriously as the employment courts have when reviewing Ubers’ practices and procedures.”

  • The TUC has set up a petition asking TfL to keep Uber’s drivers and passengers safe.
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