You may have seen messages via email (‘A New Era for UPHD’) and on Whatsapp groups and social media accounts about some IWGB members leaving IWGB’s UPHD branch to create an alternative private hire drivers organisation.
We would just like to clarify that the union does not endorse this project and is concerned by the fact that members could be left in a vulnerable position if they join an association that is not certified as a union. James Farrar is listed as the sole director of this new limited company and it is unclear if there are any democratic structures, or any structures at all to hold the self-appointed leaders to account.
The IWGB is also concerned that by using the UPHD name, the organisation is misleading people paying money to an entity that they think is the IWGB’s UPHD branch, with all its resources and experience, when in fact it is not. The website says the organisation has been achieving things for years when actually the company was formed just this month. They have also stolen the union branch website, Facebook and Twitter accounts. The company has already been reported to the Insolvency Service for fraud.
We are further concerned by the fact that the main individuals that are behind this project, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, seem to be motivated at least in part by a cynical attempt to evade ongoing processes of democratic accountability, following serious concerns raised by IWGB staff and members.
As raised by eight members of the IWGB’s Executive Committee, James Farrar, Yaseen Aslam, and Sam McDouall were accused of engaging in the intimidation of executive committee members, dishonesty and lack of transparency around money, mistreatment of staff (in the case of James), undermining union democracy, and acting in bad faith. This motion of no confidence was passed by 14 votes to 2.
Rest assured that the IWGB union and its UPHD branch continue to work for our driver members and will not allow this to distract us from the incredibly important work we do on a daily basis.
- The IWGB Legal Department and organisers continue to defend members before employers and licensing authorities, having brought 322 cases in the last year, including cases like this one.
- In June, the IWGB will once again face Sadiq Khan and Transport for London at the Court of Appeal to continue the fight against his discriminatory congestion charge.
- The IWGB Legal Department is preparing a number of cases against major operators, with a landmark case that will be announced in the next few weeks against Bolt.
- The IWGB’s UPHD branch is the biggest independent body representing the interests of private hire drivers and continues to provide the leadership to make changes that benefit drivers in the sector.
If you have any concerns or questions, please get in touch with the union on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 3490 7530.
In solidarity, UPHD, branch of the IWGB union