Featured

UPHD responds to reports of Uber recognition agreement with GMB trade union

Update 27 May 2021:

Nader Awaad, Chair of United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD), a branch of the IWGB, says: 

“This recognition deal is a dud that signs away workers’ right to negotiate over pay and is a PR exercise for Uber. Unions should not sign deals which tie their hands behind their backs. Trade union recognition agreements at their best are only useful when backed up by workers and unions who are willing to fight fiercely for their rights. UPHD is the biggest union for Uber drivers in the UK and has been doing just this for years, organising strikes and protests with thousands of drivers taking part, and we will continue to do so until Uber sits down and listens to the concerns of their drivers.”

“Celebrating a deal that signs away workers rights sadly says a lot about the state of the trade union movement in Britain today. This is precisely why grassroots worker-led unions like UPHD have grown to represent more drivers than any of the older, larger unions: workers need a fighting alternative and are willing and able to build it.”

26 May 2021:

Today newspapers have reported that Uber has signed a recognition agreement with the GMB trade union.

UPHD is pleased to see that Uber appears to be engaging with one of the several trade unions representing Uber drivers in the UK after years of refusing to listen to drivers whatsoever.

With UPHD the largest union for private hire drivers in the UK, and one whose members have been fighting tirelessly for better rights at Uber and other operators for many years through protests, strikes and grassroots campaigning, we look forward to Uber contacting us soon if they are serious about engaging with their drivers. While we wait for Uber to come to the table, we will keep on campaigning to make sure drivers’ voices are heard and to fight for our rights.

Furthermore, it is concerning to see reports that this recognition agreement will not allow for bargaining over earnings. Recognition agreements are only worth so much at best, but to take key areas of negotiation off the table before discussions have even started is appalling, particularly as Uber still fails to uphold the law on minimum wage after the Supreme Court ruling earlier this year.

Until we see Uber meaningfully engage with drivers, we see these announcements as yet another PR stunt by Uber to try to give off the impression they are doing right by their drivers while continuing to exploit us and deny us what is rightfully ours.

What is trade union recognition?

Trade union recognition is an agreement between an employer and a trade union. Typically, at a bare minimum it requires the employer to meet with the union on a regular basis to discuss issues raised by the union’s members.

A voluntary recognition agreement can cover a range of different things, such as paid time off for union reps to use on union matters or agreements concerning conditions in the workplace. A voluntary union recognition agreement can be ended by the employer at their discretion.

Recognition agreements by themselves are useful for trade unions and our union has called on Uber to recognise UPHD. However, without the collective power of organised workers they can often be toothless, particularly as at times employers will choose to recognise unions with low membership density to try to disorganise workers and head off grassroots, worker-led unions.

If you want to get involved in fighting for rights at Uber and other operators, join UPHD: http://www.iwgb.org.uk/join

Featured

Driver Safety: Attack on UPHD member Muhammad while on a job for Bolt

Last Friday our member Muhammad experienced a terrible attack while working for Bolt. This is a shocking story, but we feel it is important to share it with you: we urgently need better safety protections for drivers.

Muhammad was working in the Chingford area in London and was called for a job near the Chingford Sainsbury’s. Little did Muhammad know that the phone being used to book the job was stolen and the person he would meet at the pick up point would not be the person whose details were shown on his app.

When Muhammad arrived, the customer asked him urgently to drive around the corner as he said he had a friend waiting there whose leg was hurt and couldn’t walk all the way to the vehicle. Muhammad obliged.

He stopped where requested next to two men. Immediately one of the men opened his car door and punched him hard in the face. The man then pulled out a knife and ordered Muhammad to hand over his car keys and get out the vehicle. Muhammad realised the situation he was in and made the decision to hand over the keys rather than risk his life.

As they drove away in his car, Muhammad made his way to the Sainsbury’s, bleeding from his mouth and asked the security team there to call the police. The police arrived 20 minutes or so later.

The photo above shows Muhammad after the attack.

The police investigation is still ongoing. Fortunately, it seems that Muhammad’s insurance will pay for the cost of his car – a Toyota Prius 2011. Muhammad is now safe and recovering.

Muhammad agreed it was important to share his story with other drivers and with the press to draw attention to the issue of driver safety.

Muhammad also said: “Since this happened to me I have been scared to go back to work again, but I have to in order to support my family.”

“I am not the only driver this has happened to. In February another driver called Gabriel Bringye, who was a member of our union, was stabbed by his passengers while on a job for Bolt. His assailants were using some sort of fake account.”

“The fact the attackers in both my case and Gabriel’s were able to do this and book a job without revealing their identity exposed us to danger. I could well have ended up dead like Gabriel. Bolt must make its app safe for drivers now before another person is killed.”

“The first thing Bolt should do is make sure no-one is able to book a trip on Bolt without a verified name and address, and Bolt must introduce photo requirements for customers in their app so drivers like me can tell if the person getting in my car is the right person.”

Our UPHD Vice Chair Nader Awaad also said: “After the horrific stabbing of private hire driver Gabriel Bringye while on a job for Bolt in February, our union called on Bolt’s CEO Markus Villig to implement safety measures so this would never happen again. This recent attack on another driver Muhammad shows the necessity of the safety measures we have been calling for. Markus Villig’s failure to implement improved protections for drivers after Gabriel’s death nearly cost Muhammad his life. This is negligence and Bolt must take action now to ensure their drivers are safe. It is unacceptable if a passenger loses a phone someone else can order a job using their name to commit a crime. It’s Bolt’s responsibility to ensure that their account can be accessed by the account holder only.”

For several months, UPHD has been campaigning for improved safety protections for drivers from all the operators. We have seen many drivers across the country get abused and attacked by passengers over the last few years. This is a problem that can affect all of us and we must all stand up for ourselves and demand changes.

Of course, each driver can and should take safety measures and precautions to protect themselves. We recommend some basic precautions such as keeping your doors locked until you have fully identified the passenger, getting approved CCTV in your vehicle, etc. We will be running some training workshops for our members on this topic in the near future.

However, the responsibility here does not rest with the individual driver alone. The operators who make billions from our hard work are also responsible for our safety.

Since the murder of our union member Gabriel Bringye in February while on a job for Bolt, the UPHD team has been working hard to support his family and also to put pressure on Bolt to improve their safety protections. After this horrific attack on Muhammad, it is even more clear that Bolt has a serious problem with lack of safety for drivers.

We have called on Bolt’s CEO Markus Villig to improve their safety measures on the Bolt app, but so far they have not listened. If another driver is hurt or killed, it will be Markus Villig’s negligence that is responsible.

The first steps in our campaign to get Bolt and other operators to improve safety measures were:

  • to launch a survey for drivers to let us know if you have experienced abuse so we can build up the evidence to make our case as strongly as possible with the operators and licensing authorities. You can fill that in here: https://airtable.com/shrR51rUcr7RgaHVQ
  • to set up a driver safety working group and hold a series of meetings to work out what measures need to be taken by operators to improve driver safety. Get in touch if you want to join this working group.
  • to launch a petition calling on Bolt to make improvements, which you should sign and share: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/gabriels-life-matters-drivers-deserve-safety/
  • to get the media to cover this issue.
  • to hold several strikes to put pressure on Bolt.

We are now planning to step up this campaign to the next level. We plan to put maximum pressure on Bolt so that they will stop hiding, take some responsibility and improve their safety measures for drivers.

Watch this space for more information and join UPHD to get involved: www.iwgb.org.uk/join

Featured

UPHD calls on HMRC to enforce Uber Supreme Court ruling on unpaid waiting times, saying company is still taking drivers for a ride

  • In a historic victory for gig workers Uber concedes basic workers’ rights, saying drivers “should not have to compromise on flexibility in order to benefit from new rights and protections.”
  • Uber announced minimum wage guarantees during trips only, and IWGB now calls on HMRC to enforce the Supreme Court ruling stating this should begin from when they log onto the app, eliminating unpaid waiting times.
  • Uber has also remained silent on other key issues such as health and safety, trade union recognition and the ongoing case for backdated compensation. 

After losing last month’s Supreme Court case, Uber has finally accepted defeat and recognised its 70,000 UK drivers as workers, conceding some of the basic rights and protections the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) have campaigned for since 2017. However, this still falls short of the Supreme Court ruling, which clearly stated claimants were entitled to a guaranteed minimum wage from the moment they log into the app, eliminating the controversial and continuing practice of unpaid waiting time. Consequently, the IWGB is now calling on HMRC to intervene and enforce this ruling for all drivers. 

Drivers are currently set to receive a minimum wage guarantee (National Living Wage) of £8.72 per hour (after vehicle running costs) during trips; pension contributions from Uber in a pension scheme that is yet to be established; and an additional payment of 12.07% of earnings (after vehicle running costs) every two weeks to reflect their right to paid holiday. However, Uber has not given information on how it will calculate vehicle running costs when making pay and holiday calculations. Compensation for backdated pay and holidays is also still outstanding: the IWGB has an ongoing case against Uber in partnership with leading law firm Leigh Day, representing hundreds of drivers’ claims for backdated wages and holiday pay.

Uber’s assertion that drivers “should not have to compromise on flexibility in order to benefit from new rights and protections” flies in the face of previous arguments made by Uber and other prominent gig economy companies such as Deliveroo, who have long presented flexibility and workers’ rights as mutually exclusive and widely exploited the practice of worker misclassification to deny their workers’ rights across the world

Uber also made no mention of the additional health and safety protections Uber drivers would be entitled to as workers. The workers’ right to refuse unsafe work and to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE,)established by the IWGB in the Supreme Court last year, are of particular relevance as private hire drivers have disproportionately lost their lives to Covid-19.

Nader Awaad, Vice Chair, United Private Hire Drivers branch of the IWGB, says: “Uber has finally conceded that drivers are entitled to worker rights. Make no mistake, Uber has been forced into this decision by pressure from drivers. Following the Supreme Court victory, hundreds upon hundreds of drivers responded to Uber’s recent consultation on worker rights by calling on Uber to pay up and speak to our union. This is a positive step from Uber, however as ever the devil is in the details and Uber is still falling short. To comply with the law, Uber needs to guarantee a minimum wage for the entire time we are logged into the app, as the Supreme Court ruled, and pay immediate compensation for backdated wages, holiday pay and pensions. Moreover, Uber must now turn over a new leaf in how they treat drivers and commit to a fair process for dismissals and trade union recognition. To win this will require a strong union – now is the time for all drivers to join UPHD.”

Alex Marshall, President, IWGB, says: “This massive victory for Uber drivers proves what we have said all along – you can have workers rights and flexibility. After a long hard battle Uber has been forced into a corner by the drivers and has seen that the only way out is to give the drivers what is legally theirs. There is more that needs to be done for Uber to comply with the law. They are still doing their best to take drivers for a ride. But this will send shockwaves across the gig-economy and sets a precedent to end the exploitative practices synonymous with the likes of Deliveroo, Bolt, Addison Lee and others. This is a big step in the right direction and shows what can be achieved when workers come together and fight for what is rightfully theirs.”

The United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD) branch of the IWGB, demands:

  • HMRC intervene to enforce a national minimum wage guarantee from the moment drivers log into the app to log out, as ruled by the Supreme Court.
  • Trade union recognition.
  • A negotiated agreement with UPHD regarding how Uber calculates driver expenses when calculating minimum wage.
  • Backdated minimum wage, holiday pay and pension contributions for all drivers who have been wrongfully denied these rights for years.
  • A fair dismissals process for drivers in line with ACAS minimum standards. 

Email from Uber to drivers:

Featured

Demand Uber talks to our union!

This morning the Supreme Court handed down its judgement that Uber drivers are workers. This is a huge victory for all drivers.

But already, Uber is trying to wriggle out of their obligations. Uber’s regional general manager Jamie Heywood tried to argue in the newspapers this morning that the court’s decision was “focused on a small number of drivers who used the Uber app in 2016.

“Heywood also said that Uber is “committed to doing more and will consult with every active driver across the UK to understand the changes they want to see.”

Uber drivers have received an email from Uber to a similar effect.

Uber spent 6 years and hundreds of thousands of pounds fighting in the courts to deny drivers the basic rights we have just won today. We know Uber will keep on trying to wriggle out of this judgement.

That’s why it’s so important we all build the strength of our union and campaign and put pressure on Uber so they cannot deny us our rights any longer.

As a first step, UPHD Vice Chair Nader Awaad has written today to Jamie Heywood on behalf of our union to demand formal ‘trade union recognition’. See the letter below.

Jamie Heywood has said Uber will be consulting with Uber drivers across the country. Why won’t they just speak to the drivers’ union?

Trade union recognition will mean that Uber has to meet with our union’s representatives on a regular basis and negotiate with us regarding matters such as pay for drivers. This would be a big step forward for drivers.

As workers we are entitled to trade union representation and collective bargaining. However, we can be pretty sure that Uber will try to resist recognising our rights and it is only going to happen if we put pressure on them. We need YOU to help with this.

Join us and write a short email/tweet/message now to Uber and demand Uber talks to our union.

Here is a draft email you can use to write to Uber if you are a driver. You can write to jheywood@uber.com

Dear Mr Heywood,

I am an Uber driver working for you in the UK.

I was glad to see the Supreme Court rule today that I am a worker. As a worker, I am entitled to trade union representation. My union has written to you today to request formal trade union recognition.

I saw that you said in the newspapers this morning you are planning to consult with drivers following the Supreme Court judgement today. I ask that you talk to my union – the United Private Hire Drivers branch of the IWGB union.

Please let me know when you will do so.

Best regards, 

If you are not a driver, but wish to show support, please do also write in to Uber. We need to make our voice as loud as possible.

We have many more plans prepared for how we can campaign and put pressure on Uber to respect our rights. You will hear more soon. For now, let us all focus on demanding Uber talks to the union.

The United Private Hire Drivers branch of the IWGB union is the biggest union for drivers in the UK. If you’re not yet a member, join the union here: www.iwgb.org.uk/join

Featured

Supreme Court decides Uber drivers are workers

Today after many months’ delay, the Supreme Court has finally handed down its decision: Uber drivers are workers.

This decision is very significant news for all private hire drivers in the UK.

What does it mean? If you are a worker then you have certain legal protections and benefits, such as the right to paid holiday and the right to receive the National Minimum Wage. You also have a right to union representation in disciplinary matters and to collective bargaining.

These rights have been hard fought for by drivers and bitterly resisted by Uber. And we know that the management at Uber will likely keep trying their best to wriggle out of their responsibilities to us drivers.

But this judgement gives us a significant opening to push for better pay and conditions at Uber, and with that potentially more operators in the UK. Now is the time for all of us to take courage and redouble our fight for justice.

What next in the fight for justice for drivers?

1. Your union is making legal claims for drivers who are eligible to do so for financial compensation from Uber for not providing holiday pay and the minimum wage (i.e. any shortfall between the pay you have received and the National Minimum Wage). Read more about this and how you can find out if you are eligible to sign up to join the claim at: www.iwgb.org.uk/page/uber-claim

2. The UPHD committee is planning some big campaigns to put pressure on Uber to increase pay and improve conditions for drivers and win formal trade union recognition. Keep an eye out for emails soon advertising our next drivers meeting where this will be discussed further and you can give your input into the plans and get involved. If you’re not already a member, join now at: www.iwgb.org.uk/join

3. Your union is already taking action to fight against unfair deactivations of drivers working for Uber and all other operators and to fight for a fair process. If you have been unfairly deactivated then get in touch.

We’re also campaigning on a number of other issues, such as violence and abuse against drivers, the TfL congestion charge, & much more. Encourage drivers you know to join us and get involved: www.iwgb.org.uk/join

Today is a great day for all of us. Let us take confidence from this and keep up efforts to strengthen our union and fight for justice for all drivers.

Solidarity,

The UPHD team

London congestion charge discrimination claim to be heard at the High Court 10 & 11 July

  • The IWGB will argue Sadiq Khan’s introduction of £11.50 congestion charge on minicabs is in breach of the Equality Act and the European Convention on Human Rights
  • Charge is being introduced on mainly BAME workforce, while black cab drivers, who are mostly white, continue to be exempt.
  • TFL figures show minicab drivers are almost three times as likely to be stopped by enforcement officers than black cab drivers, even though minicabs are more likely to be compliant.

4 July: The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) will be arguing at the High Court on 10 and 11 July that Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s decision to introduce a congestion charge on minicabs discriminates against and breaches the human rights of a mainly BAME workforce.

The IWGB is seeking a judicial review of Khan’s decision to introduce the £11.50 charge on the grounds that it is a case of indirect discrimination under the Equality Act. The charge is being imposed on a workforce that is mainly BAME (94% of London’s 107,000 minicab drivers are BAME according to TFL), while black cab drivers, who are mostly white, continue to be exempt.

This policy is also in breach of a number of articles of the European Convention on Human Rights that cover discrimination, property rights, right to a family life and ability to carry out a profession.

The IWGB has assembled a legal team which includes renowned discrimination barristers Ben Collins QC,Nadia Motraghi and Tara O’Halloran of Old Square Chambers, and TMP Solicitors founding partner Jacqueline McGuigan.

The IWGB has proposed a number of alternatives to this policy, including a cap on the total number minicab driver licenses, a levy on minicab operators such as Uber and Viavan, and the enforcement of worker rights by Transport for London (TfL).

Discrimination also runs throughout London’s enforcement regime. The most recent figures released by TfL show minicabs are almost three times as likely to be stopped by enforcement officers as black cabs, despite the fact that TfL’s own statistics show that on average minicabs are more compliant than black cabs.

IWGB United Private Hire Drivers branch secretary Yaseen Aslam said: “We know who created the congestion mess in London. It was operators like Uber flooding the streets with cars while Transport for London was asleep at the wheel. Now, instead of capping the total number minicab licenses or making Uber pay, Mayor Sadiq Khan is chosing to punish BAME drivers who are only trying to make an honest living in one of the most expensive cities in the world. This is discriminatory, cruel and regressive, and we will not stop until we get justice.”

Minicab driver and IWGB BAME officer Muhumed Ali said: “For years we have been asking Mayor Sadiq Khan and Transport for London to do their job and regulate rogue minicab operators such as Uber. Instead of challenging these multinational companies, the Mayor has decided to lay the cost of out of control licensing on precarious drivers on poverty pay. Now it is up to us to make sure this discriminatory policy is scrapped.”

The legal action follows seven weeks of protests earlier this year by minicab drivers that are demanding that the congestion charge be scrapped, as it represents an unfair burden on their already stretched budgets. The protests have seen hundreds of drivers block a number of major roads and bridges in the capital.

The IWGB is the leading union for precarious workers. It has taken legal action against Uber, Deliveroo, Addison Lee and several other so-called gig economy employers. Last year it organised the first nation-wide strike of Uber drivers and the biggest strike of outsourced workers in the UK higher-education history.

For more information:

Emiliano Mellino, press officer

press@iwgb.co.uk

Uber Drivers in four UK cities to protest ahead of company’s IP

  • Uber drivers in London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Glasgow to log off app and protest outside Uber offices in each city
  • Drivers condemn Uber for large payouts to founder, venture capitalists and executives despite failure to resolve pay issues
  • Drivers call on public to not cross “digital picket line” on 8 May

8 May: Hundreds of Uber drivers will log off the app and stage protests in London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Glasgow today, as part of an international day of action taking place in dozens of cities around the world ahead of the company’s IPO.

UK drivers are expected to log off the app between 7am and 4pm and the United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD) branch of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), is calling for drivers to protest outside of Uber’s offices in London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Glasgow.

The IWGB’s UPHD branch is asking the public to not cross the digital picket line by using the app to book Uber services during these times. Thousands of other drivers are expected to take action around the world, from the United States to Brazil, as part of an international day of action.

Drivers are protesting against the IPO, which will value the company at tens of billions of dollars and lead to massive payouts for investors, while driver pay continues to be cut.

Despite the expected massive payout for a few at the top, Uber’s business model is unsustainable in its dependence upon large scale worker exploitation. Since 2016, successive judgements from the UK’s Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal have all said Uber drivers are being unlawfully denied basic worker rights, such as the minimum wage and holiday pay. The IWGB is expected to face Uber at the Supreme Court later this year.

Uber’s own prospectus recently filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission admits that being forced to respect worker rights and pay VAT as a result of the IWGB’s legal challenge would be a material risk to its business model. It also says that driver pay and job satisfaction will fall as Uber seeks to cut costs to become profitable.

Analysis by UPHD shows that Uber drivers currently earn on average £5 per hour and work as much as 30 hours per week before breaking even.

The drivers are demanding:

Fares be increased to £2 per mile

Commissions paid by drivers to Uber be reduced from 25% to 15%

An end to unfair dismissals

Uber to respect the rulings of the Employment Tribunal, The Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal confirming ‘worker’ status for drivers

IWGB UPHD branch secretary Yaseen Aslam said: “Since Uber arrived to the UK in 2012, it has progressively driven down pay and conditions in the minicab sector to the point where many drivers are now being pushed to work over 60 hours a week just to get by. Now, a handful of investors are expected to get filthy rich off the back of the exploitation of these drivers on poverty wages. We are protesting today demanding that the company pay drivers a decent wage and that government authorities tackle Uber’s chronic unlawful behaviour.”

IWGB UPHD branch chair James Farrar said: “Uber’s flotation is shaping up to be an unprecedented international orgy of greed as investors cash in on one of the most abusive business models ever to emerge from Silicon Valley. It is the drivers who have created this extraordinary wealth but they continue to be denied even the most basic workplace rights. We call on the public not to cross the digital picket line on 8 May but to stand in solidarity with impoverished drivers across the world who have made Uber so successful.”

The protests are expected to take place at:

London 1pm – Uber UK Head Office,1 Aldgate Tower, 2 Leman St, London E1 8FA

Birmingham 1pm -100 Broad St, Birmingham B15 1AE

Nottingham 1pm – King Edward Court Unit C, Nottingham NG1 1EL

Glasgow 2pm – 69 Buchanan St, Glasgow G1 3HL

Uber drivers plan national shutdown on 8 May before Uber IPO

  • Uber drivers in London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Glasgow to log off app on 8 May and demonstrate outside Uber offices in each city
  • Drivers condemn Uber for large payouts to founder, venture capitalists and executives despite failure to resolve pay issues
  • Drivers call on public to not use the service on 8 May

8 May: Uber drivers will log off the app and stage protests in London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Glasgow ahead of the minicab firm’s stock market flotation the following day.

The drivers, who are part of the United Private Hire Drivers Branch (UPHD) of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), will observe a 9 hour boycott of the app between 7am and 4pm.

Uber drivers will be on strike and leading demonstrations across the world on 8 May in the lead up to Uber’s Initial Public Offering (IPO).

UPHD calls on the public to not cross the digital picket line by using the app to book Uber services during these times.

Drivers are protesting against the IPO which will lead to large payouts for executives and venture capitalist investors, despite failures to resolve pay issues for drivers.

With an expected valuation of $100 billion, Uber’s founder, venture capitalists and management will become fabulously wealthy overnight. Uber’s founder stands to personally gain $9 billion.

However, Uber’s business model is unsustainable in its dependence upon large scale worker exploitation, tax avoidance and regulatory arbitrage. Since 2016, successive judgements from the Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal have all said Uber drivers are entitled to basic worker rights, such as the minimum wage and holiday pay. Uber’s own prospectus recently filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission admits:

  • Uber believes the prospect of having to respect worker rights and pay VAT as a result of UPHD worker rights legal challenge to be a material risk to its business model
  • Driver pay and job satisfaction will fall as Uber seeks to cut costs to become profitable
  • Analysis by UPHD shows that Uber drivers currently earn on average £5 per hour and work as much as 30 hours per week before breaking even.

The drivers are demanding:

  • Fares be increased to £2 per mile
  • Commissions paid by drivers to Uber be reduced from 25% to 15%
  • An end to unfair dismissals
  • Uber to respect the rulings the 2016 ruling of the Employment Tribunal confirming ‘worker’ status for drivers
  • James Farrar, Chair of the United Private Hire Drivers branch of the IWGB union said: “Uber’s flotation is shaping up to be an unprecedented international orgy of greed as investors cash in on one of the most abusive business models ever to emerge from Silicon Valley. It is the drivers who have created this extraordinary wealth but they continue to be denied even the most basic workplace rights. We call on the public not to cross the digital picket line on 8 May but to stand in solidarity with impoverished drivers across the world who have made Uber so successful.”

The protests will take place at 1pm, May 8th at the following locations –

  1. London – Uber UK Head Office, 1 Aldgate Tower, 2 Leman St, London E1 8FA
  2. Birmingham – 100 Broad St, Birmingham B15 1AE (TBC)
  3. Nottingham – King Edward Court Unit C, Nottingham NG1 1EL
  4. Glasgow – 69 Buchanan St, Glasgow G1 3HL (TBC)

NOTES:

  1. Uber Securities and Exchange Commmission S1 prospectus filing https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1543151/000119312519103850/d647752ds1.htm
  2. Farrar & Aslam v Uber, Employment Tribunal Ruling https://www.judiciary.uk/judgments/mr-y-aslam-mr-j-farrar-and-others-v-uber/
  3. Union calculations of Uber driver net earnings based on Uber published ‘top driver’ earnings

Addison Lee drivers to strike on 1 May, in first ever strike in company’s history

  • Addison Lee drivers at Luton Airport to strike for 24 hours on 1 May
  • Drivers striking over pay and conditions currently earn below the minimum wage
  • Over 90% of drivers voted in favour of strike action

1 May: Addison Lee drivers operating at Luton Airport will go on strike on 1 May for 24 hours demanding a living wage, in the first ever strike of Addison Lee drivers anywhere in the UK.

The drivers, who are part of the United Private Hire Drivers Branch (UPHD) of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB), will be striking over pay and unfair working conditions.

A survey conducted in April by UPHD found that after an increase in the commission Addison Lee takes, the average hourly wage for drivers at Luton Airport working an average of 70 hours a week has fallen to £4.72.

Drivers have been protesting for several months against this increase and a hike in vehicle rental costs that were introduced last autumn, but the company has so far been unwilling to negotiate.

Consequently, in a recent strike ballot, over 90% of drivers working from Luton Airport voted in favour of industrial action.

On 1 May, the striking drivers will protest outside Luton Town Hall from 10am to 12 noon, calling on Luton Council to use their powers as a licensing authority to enforce their right to a minimum wage. They will then hold a picket line at the boundary of the airport site at Luton Airport Roundabout into the evening. The strike will be active for 24 hours from 05:00 on 1 May until 04:49 on 2 May.

IWGB UPHD branch secretary Yaseen Aslam said: “While we are not surprised that Addison Lee’s vulture capitalist owners would try and draw every last ounce of blood from Luton’s drivers, we are shocked that a Labour council is so happy to sit by and do nothing while drivers earn below the minimum wage. With this strike we want to send a message not only to Addison Lee, but also the council: Do your job as a regulator and stop letting these companies drive your citizens into abject poverty.”

Luton Addison Lee driver Imran Iqbal said: “On an average week I’m working 65 hours and taking home less than £350. So while I’ve been earning far below the minimum wage, Addison Lee’s owners made tens of millions of dollars last year. We have tried talking to the company, we have tried protesting and now we are left with no other option but to strike. We owe it to our families and each other to keep on fighting until Addison Lee delivers a fair deal.”

Addison Lee has had the exclusive right to operate the rank at Luton Airport since 2012, when the local Labour council awarded the company the contract following a £2 million bid.

The company is owned by US Private Equity fund Carlyle, which last year paid its two billionaire founders USD 183 million in compensation and dividends.

You can support the drivers by donating to the strike fund here.

-ENDS-

For more information:

Emiliano Mellino, press officer

press@iwgb.co.uk