June 26, 2018
International consumer group SumOfUs responds to Uber’s new 15 month licence grant
Moments ago, Uber was granted a 15-month licence to operate in London after Westminster Magistrates’ Court decided that it is 'fit and proper' to hold the licence. The move was greeted with dismay by international consumer group SumOfUs.
In 2017, Uber appealed against Transport for London’s decision not to renew its licence. Uber has continued to run its cab service in London pending appeal, with a workforce of thousands of drivers still forced to work on bogus "driver partner" contracts. This means drivers work dangerously long hours and lose out on rights like the national minimum wage, and holiday pay.
The company admitted the original decision not to renew its licence was correct, but claimed it has since made “substantial changes” by replacing its senior management, despite there being no change in its policies.
SumOfUs campaigner Eoin Dubsky said: “Uber’s new directors threw their old bosses under the bus today, and persuaded a judge that the gig economy giant has turned a corner for good. Uber is still a shady corporation and shouldn’t have been granted a new license until it can show drivers are treated fairly.”
SumOfUs members have been campaigning for years to stop Uber's abuses around the world. Uber drivers are not self-employed contractors, they are employed workers with rights. Just before TfL made its historic decision in September 2017, SumOfUs campaigners, Uber drivers, and GMB union organizers delivered a Uber drivers’ rights petition with more than 106,000 signatures to City Hall.
SumOfUs’ partners GMB won a landmark employment tribunal case in London in 2016 on behalf of drivers. The court ruled that Uber drivers are employed workers with rights like the national minimum wage, and holiday pay.