Saturday, September 30, 2017

Letter to Taxi Leaks From DDD : DADS DEFENDING DAUGHTERS ARE STEPPING DOWN - OUR WORK HERE IS DONE

   


DDD was born because, as Licensed London Taxi drivers, we became aware of a Freedom of Information statistic which showed just how prevalent rape and sexual assaults were in minicabs.

At first, we doubted the math; surely it could not be so disturbingly high.
It was inconceivable that the rate of attacks for just one year in London alone was 154 reported.
The realisation of what was news to us, was not news to Transport for London(TfL) or Uber, was devastating.

TfL and Uber were prepared to allow this outrage to continue, as long as they could keep the truth from getting out.
The more we delved into the facts, the more it was apparent that TfL and Uber facilitated these heinous crimes, by relaxing regulation and disregarding safety.

Theo Usherwood showed us that obtaining a license to drive a minicab had become as easy as buying a second hand car.


Getting the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and other rape crisis groups involved, proved futile. They seemed enthusiastic, until they realised it might affect their funding

We were determined to get the message out into the public domain.
In this we have succeeded. If you live in Southampton, Sunderland or Strathclyde, you know that riding in an Uber is a very dangerous business.

TfL and Uber are equally to blame - they facilitated each other in cutting corners to save pennies.
The collateral damage caused by deregulation and blatant flouting of the law, is the number of unsuspecting victims growing by fifty percent per year.

Now the public are informed. Now they can make their own minds up. Now it is up to the individual if they wish to gamble with their lives for cheap.
There is nothing more DDD can do to help them. They can no longer plead ignorance.



In the early days of DDD, Val Shawcross questioned our motives; pointing her nose towards protectionism. But that says more about Val Shawcross, than it does about us.

Uber scares people. Uber's money and influence keeps justice at bay and the media in line.
Greyball is a big deal. Its potential is mind boggling. No one wants to get too involved in outing Greyball, in case they get a visit from the men in grey suits and taken for a long walk off a short pier.

Our aim was true and our focus was clear. Get the message out.
We now have the current Prime Minister, Theresa May breaking legal protocol during an ongoing case, and siding with Uber. Siding with a company that refused to assist the police in preventing a rapist from committing a further assault.



Siding with a company which pays next to no tax.
Siding with a company that produced Greyball, amongst other systems; that can hide anything and everything from the police and authorities, including Uber assaults and terrorist activities, and can monitor everything we do, including the police and authorities.
Siding with a company who, during their five year license, refused to let the Regulator see how the Uber app works.

This is no longer news; this is out there in the public eye.
When the Prime Minister is prompted by Uber investors, to plead for Uber's reprieve on national television, I think we can safely say that everyone knows about Uber and their noxious activities now.


The Conservative Party has thrown off its diaphanous veil of respectability and come out all guns blazing, to fight on Uber's behalf.
As puppet politicians played down rape statistics and sharp practices, Uber was busy illegally rigging an opinion poll set up by themselves, via their toxic software.
They cannot help themselves; just like the scorpion, it is who they are.


The honesty of Caroline Pidgeon was refreshing in this day and age of Machiavellian politics. She was never pro or anti Taxi - she was fair-minded and true to her word.
The support we received from Wes Streeting and David Kurten was also extremely uplifting.

DDD can look back to some great demos. Winning every single time.
We pulled a disastrous nose-diving UCG protest from the jaws of defeat, marching from Broadcasting House, down St Martins to cheers and applause from a dejected group gathered in Trafalgar Square about to give up the ghost.

We closed St Pancras Station for a week, forcing Camden Council to change the structure of their dangerous and unworkable set-down area.

We demoed Bank Junction for a week. The police had no idea what we would do next. They even sectioned us - a lot of good that did them. We had the police turn up to an empty Bank, while we gathered at Parliament Square. We had the police closing off roads and roundabouts, searching for us, trying to second guess us, whilst we sat in the warmth having dinner - we even sent them a photo of us eating fish and chips, while they speed around London with helicopters in the air, in search of our next gathering point.



We demoed Parliament Square on the morning after Brexit, for maximum media effect.

We turned up outside Tobacco Dock for the Evening Standard Awards. Advertisers do not like being associated with rape and corruption - that bog-roll stopped promoting Uber for a while after that - due most likely to pressure from commercial customers - and odds on favourites Uber failed to win their award. Uber are not up for an award this year, even though their immoral lobbyist, who works for one of Uber's biggest investors, is editor of the freebie rag.

We saved the LTDA's bacon, when Steve McNamara called a protest outside the Evening Standard, for George Osborne's first day as editor, and no one turned up; until a few hundred DDD marched along Kensington Gore to Derry Street, complete with placards and banners. McNamara called Woodfield Road for reinforcements, about six LTDA members turned up.

We were pleased to assist the ever proactive LCDC with their Dodgy Doctors protest outside 240 Blackfriars Road.
And we were honoured to be part of the GMB/LCDC Brighton experiment, which showed how cross-border hiring and instant hail worked to the detriment of everyone except the profiteers. 


We stormed the BBC, demoed Conservative Party HQ, the Houses of Parliament, Downing Street, Windsor and Palestra Houses, closed the City and huge chunks of London.
We marched many a merry protest and drove a few drive-ins too.
The police were very accommodating and understanding, it must be said.

We had a hugely successful 'Christmas Warning' poster campaign. There are still a few thousand about London, educating the public.

We never took a penny from any organisation, remaining independent and self sufficient.

Our whole raison d'etre was to get the message out and inform the public. And we did just that. Now every man and his dog know.



DDD congratulates everyone who stood shoulder to shoulder with us. By attending our demos you became DDD members.

We planned our protests with every conceivable outcome; we rode our luck and were successful in each and every one of them.

We got Orgs, Unions and representatives to various negotiating tables - how they did once we got them there, was beyond our control.
Closing a mainline station or a huge hub of a junction for a week had never done before, and will never be done again.

We have absolute respect and gratitude to the ten percent of London's proactive finest.
We offer nothing more than our complete and utter disdain to the ninety percent apathetic sleepwalkers who excuse themselves from involvement with asinine excuses, and spurious motives.

We have always stated we would rather fight alongside ten who cared, than a thousand who would rather be somewhere else.

Cameron, Osborne, Javid and May are responsible for far too many vulnerable people being maimed or attacked, all because their mates have vested interests in a Ponzi scheme that makes Enron look like a 'Three-card Monte'.
How cheaply those Tory yellow dogs hold our lives, hey?


With Daniels retiring, Chapman and Blake jumping ship before this year's end, I think we can safely say TfL are doing some overdue Spring-cleaning.

As with all unscrupulous businesses when they get found out, they put a few new faces up to hide the corruption and incompetence that will continue behind a refurbished facade. It is exactly what Uber have done too.

We did our best and we achieved all we set out to do.
Those who came along for the ride know the truth, what we did, why we did it, and how it was achieved.
We came across quite a bit of resentment from different Orgs and egos along the way. So now when Uber gets its license, and it will, ask your Org or Union "What are you going to do about it?"

Undefeated and unbowed we now step from the arena.



Footnote:
The band of brothers who are Dads Defending Daughters, remain one family.
We stay together as one; ready for anything.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Before You Go Leon...Could You Explain Why You Are Allowing Uber To Continue Unlicensed... By Jim Thomas


Taxi leaks have been asked why Uber are being allowed to carry on operating when it's PH operators licence expire at midnight on the 30th of September (tomorrow night), when Sean Stocking -who had his licence revoked by TfL earlier this year- has been thrown out of work while he appeals the decision.

Official answer is: 
Uber's licence has not been revoked, it has expired. As Uber have made an application for a renewal which has been reviewed by TfL, then under the transport act 1985 section 7(7), the old licence continues until they received a new licence or they get an official revocation. 

7)Where a person holds a licence which is in force when he applies for a new licence in substitution for it, the existing licence shall continue in force until the application for the new licence, or any appeal under this section in relation to that application, is disposed of, but without prejudice to the exercise in the meantime of any power of the licensing authority to revoke the existing licence.





Whereas Sean Stockings' licence has actually been revoked so in fact he is n longer licensed to act as a licensed Taxi driver.

But, on the 30th September 2014, Leon Daniels emailed Taxi Leaks editor with his definition of the transport act in regards to licensed Taxi drivers renewing their licenses experiencing delays. 
In his email he agreed with Taxi Leaks that if a Taxi driver has submitted renewal forms and supplied a current DBS certificate, then the old licence stays valid until the driver receives a renewal or a notice of revocation. Which means the driver can legally carry on working.

Interestingly Leon Daniels volunteers a caveat at the end of the email which states (in his opinion) the act applies only to the licensed Taxi Trade and not the Private Hire Trade.


So perhaps Leon could now explain why Uber's operation is to be allowed to continue, when in fact they are will not be in procession of a current operators licence?

As from midnight Saturday night, Uber drivers will be accepting work from an unlicensed operator....Carrying passengers acquired from an unlicensed source, could also impact on their drivers insurance! 
Perhaps our wonderful New United Taxi group led by the LTDA's Steve McNamara could explain why they are not taking action against the decision to allow Uber to continue unlicensed?

After all, isn't this what their subscription paying members would expect for their money?

Letter To Editor : Theresa May on BBC News Regarding Uber Licence Revocation... by Paul Nice.

 

Those of you who watched the news yesterday evening, may have been quite disconcerted to learn where our prime minster stands on Uber.  

Let’s start with her famous phrase, “Brexit Means Brexit” No one was sure what that meant!  
Did anyone think it meant delaying till 2021 and coughing up £20 billion!
 
Imagine how I felt as a tax paying and abiding citizen when the subject of Uber’s tax scandal was dismissed as minor importance.  I suppose £20,000 000 000 comes out of nowhere!
 
Something just doesn’t add up…  She states that 40,000 people are going to lose their jobs!  
I have to ask myself is Uber the only app?  The reported rise on downloads from other apps, will that not provide jobs?
Perhaps rate paying minicab offices could start to flourish again?  
Rates have gone sky high recently, perhaps the government wants retail outlets to disappear and global tech companies to take over instead of creating a market for all kinds of businesses alike.  

She mentioned a level playing field, something the Licensed taxis have been asking for, for years.  Since she’s coughing up £20 billion courtesy of you and me the PM needs to explain what a level playing field is…
 
The taxi industry asked for a level playing field when all they should’ve asked for is that existing legislation to be enforced.

Uber were given time to reform and only now do they admit what they call mistakes.  A gross travesty had happened and too much has been swept under the carpet throughout the years.  

Cameron, Osbourne, etc. were party to a viral conglomerate that kept its lips sealed as rapes and sexual assaults took place in our great city.  Dodgy background checks that were assisted and fake medicals all to support a non-tax paying company that treats its workforce with contempt.
 
Come join Uber and make £££’s why would Uber complain that its self employed partners are campaigning for the minimum wage?  

How do 40,000 people lose their job if those who provide the work do not accept that they are employees and are a mosaic of 40,000 separate business, that do not get its work from an operator, that says it’s a tech company and doesn't even need an operator’s licence?
 
Why do licensed taxi drivers complain about the competition of paying for a £56,000 vehicle with milk float technology when a Prius can be used instead (sod the disabled) 
Leon are you really giving people what they want?  
I would’nt say that to a rape victim’s father..
 
If people want a cheaper service from taxi’s how about lifting the age restriction, replacing the TX4 or TX5 with an economical already existing petrol hybrid engine and make a taxi driver’s income tax and NI exempt?  
Since paying tax is of minor importance and TFL are there to listen to the public and regulate the service; I don’t see why this cannot be achieved! 
Anyway since Uber is already doing this and you have £20 billion stashed away a swish of the pen could make this happen!
 
Mrs May please understand we can’t have a regulated and non-regulated taxi service operating in the same city.  

Don’t forget this is London not a third world city!
Let’s show the world that London is not open for corruption and we have high standards in all our industries and if foreign investors wish to be a part of this glowing beacon of world class stature, they will have to move in line with our standards and regulations.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA :








Thursday, September 28, 2017

TfL plans cycle super highway for Tooley Street, Jamaica Road and Rotherhithe roundabout

Locals have until November 19 to comment on the plans

TfL has today announced proposals for a segregated Cycle Super Highway to run through Tooley Street and Jamaica Road.

The planned transformation of the A200 would create a segregated cycle link from Tower Bridge Road, all the way to Evelyn Street and Creek Road in Lewisham and Greenwich.

It also includes plans to redesign the Rotherhithe Tunnel roundabout, as well as for five new locations to receive pedestrian traffic lights, and smaller upgrades to 20 other crossings.


Proposed Cycle Super Highway route map

The plans were announced as part of a public consultation, which will close on November 19.

Visit the consultation here.

The project, nicknamed CS4 (Cycle Superhighway 4) is due to begin “late next year”, and would cost £55m.

A second consultation, due later this year, will also seek feedback on proposals to include Lower Road in the route.


Jamaica Road Cycle Super Highway proposal

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m delighted to be able to announce plans to bring more than 4km of segregated cycle lanes to south-east London.

“We need more Londoners to cycle and walk for the good of their health and our air quality, and that’s why we’re working so hard make cycling safer and easier right across the capital. By bringing this route to an area of such high demand, this superhighway really will open up cycling to thousands more Londoners.”

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA: 

Instead of using fake photos, why not use real ones like these below, taken of buses damage from exhausted bus drivers in Earnshaw Street. Cab was whacked from behind by tired driver. 




The Future Of The Gig Economy Hangs In The Balance ... As We Now Wait For Uber Verdict


In the workers rights appeal case today, Judge Eady QC said she will reserve her decision for a later date.
The future of the gig economy hangs in the balance

Judge Eady QC's ruling could have a major impact on the operating costs of Uber and the wider gig economy with delivery firms such as Deliveroo and Jinn, which rely on a network of self-employed couriers, also being impacted.

Unfortunately we will now have to wait 

There are over 1 million people working in the gig economy in the UK, according to recent government estimates. Gig economy advocates argue it provides convenience for users and flexibility, but detractors argue that it strips away employment rights. Galbraith-Marten QC said that the rise of casual work associated with the gig economy does not of itself defeat "worker" status.

Judge Eady QC said she will reserve her decision for a later date. If Judge Eady QC rules in the driver's favour then Uber will be able to appeal again to the Court of Appeal and possibly to the Supreme Court. The process could last several years, according to the FT.

"In recent years employers in the so-called 'gig economy' have been allowed to run wild on a rampage of exploitation," said IWGB general secretary Dr Jason Moyer-Lee in a statement earlier this year. "These low paid workers have been fighting back both on the streets and in the courts, and winning."

Earlier this week Addison Lee drivers won their case and are now entitled to full range of employees rights. 

Uber's main argument for why it doesn't need to give driver's worker benefits is flawed, lawyer claims

Former Uber drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam took Uber to court last October over their employment status and won.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA :
They wanted to be classed as workers that are entitled to rights such as holiday pay and minimum wage.
Uber believes that its drivers are "self-employed" and appealed against the ruling on Wednesday. The driver's legal team fought back on Thursday.

The San Francisco-headquartered Minicab giant, brought in barrister Dinah Rose QC to fight its corner while Jason Galbraith-Marten QC represented the drivers.
The outcome of the appeal could have major implications on the wider gig economy in the UK, but we will now have to wait. 




Lyft eyeing London market sooner rather than later, now Uber’s license renewal refusal.


Uber, the ridesharing startup, announced news on Tuesday (Sept. 26) that it will no longer operate in Quebec in October. The decision comes as a result of stricter transportation regulations in the Canadian province. 

According to a report in Reuters, the move on the part of Uber to pull out of what is the second most popular province for tourism in Canada comes just a few days after London’s transport agency decided not to renew its license in the city. Reuters cited Uber’s Quebec General Manager, Jean-Nicolas Guillemette as saying that the ridesharing company, which has more than 10,000 drivers in the city and 50 office workers, will stop operations in the province on Oct. 14.

Uber has called on the Canadian government to rethink its stricter regulations on a pilot program that had previously enabled Uber to operate in the province. “We’re asking the government to renew the pilot project and let’s sit down and find a solution to this,” the executive told Reuters. Under the new rules, drivers have to have 35 hours of training, which is the requirement for traditional taxi drivers in the area. 

Uber’s decision comes as its rival Lyft is looking to enter the Canadian transportation arena. Lobbyists for the company have met with officials in Toronto, reported Reuters, citing city records. Over the weekend, The Telegraphsaid that Lyft is also eyeing the London market and could be emboldened to move sooner rather than later now that Uber’s license in the city was revoked. 

According to a news report in The Telegraph, Lyft’s Head of Global Policy & Strategy, Michael Masserman, and Chief Strategy Officer Raj Kapoor have had face-to-face meetings and phone calls with Transport for London (TfL) officials during 2016. The talks were focused on the startup’s business model and operations, as well as the London mayor’s new transportation strategy for the city. 

One December meeting in London was attended by Helen Chapman, who is in charge of TfL’s taxi and private hiring unit. Others at the meeting included Peter Blake, TfL’s director of service operations and three unnamed representatives of the Greater London Authority

Tfl plans to make £322m by collecting data from passengers' mobiles via Tube Wi-Fi

Transport for London (TfL) plans to make £322m by collecting Tube users' location data and potentially selling it to third parties, Sky News can reveal. 

At the end of 2016, TfL ran a pilot which tracked the Wi-Fi signals from 5.6 million phones as people moved around the London Underground, even if they weren't connected to a Wi-Fi network.

TfL publicly stated that the purpose of the scheme was to use the aggregated, anonymised data "to better understand how people navigate the London Underground network, allowing TfL to improve the experience for customers".

It is now in consultation about tracking passengers on a permanent basis. The only way to opt out of the scheme would be to turn your Wi-Fi or phone off.

Wi-Fi tracking is used around the UK, especially on high streets and shopping centres, to track customers as they move around a store, for example.

However, documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws show that they also anticipate there will be a significant financial benefit from the scheme, in contrast to TfL's public messaging.

Many of the documents list 'financial' as the first benefit of the scheme. In one, a section called Advertising Partnerships states: "Enabling TfL to achieve £322m revenue generation over the next eight years by being able to quantify asset value based on the number of eyeballs/impressions and dynamically trade advertising space."

Another document details TfL's communications strategy for the pilot. The 'key messaging' intended for the public reads: "TfL collects Wi-Fi connectivity data to better understand journey patterns and improve our services" - with no mention of the anticipated financial benefits to TfL.

Lauren Sager Weinsten, chief data officer at TfL, told Sky News: "These are living documents. The excitement on this project has been how to create a project that will have great customer benefit and how do we explain to our customers what we're doing and why. We have been very transparent about all the documents and our thinking on this.

"And of course we want to make sure that we're very clear about all the different benefits that we'll see. There's a huge customer benefit and it's very exciting to see the patterned information that comes out of this.


"But we also do think that there is an opportunity to improve our secondary revenue that we get through our commercial advertising estate and through our retail developments as well, and that's also important as well."

Asked repeatedly by Sky News, Mr Sager Weinstein refused to rule out that TfL might in the future sell aggregated customer data to third parties.

TfL reinvests all its profits in its services. The organisation notified Tube users with prominent displays about the 2016 trial. The only way for people to opt out of the scheme was to turn off their phone's Wi-Fi while on the underground.

Maria Farrell, internet policy consultant at the Open Rights Group, told Sky News: "What they told people at the time was we're going to use this data to improve services. But now thanks to [Sky News] investigative reporting, we find out that it's partly to improve the services, but also it's to exploit people's data for revenue, doing advertising."

TfL worked with the Information Commissioner's Office on the scheme and said that user data was anonymised. But privacy experts have cast doubt on the implementation.

Paul-Olivier Dehaye, the cofounder of PersonalData.IO, told Sky News: "TfL don't seem to understand what 'anonymised' means in data protection terms. While the pilot was running, the data was merely pseudonymisation, while retaining the technical capacity of easily combining this data with external datasets.

"In essence, the value and dangers of this data are still fully there, but TfL has merely constructed a fiction that the individuals were not identifiable and conveniently assumed that would free them from the legal safeguards."

Dr Lukasz Olejnik, independent cybersecurity and privacy researcher, told Sky News: "TfL has definitely identified some privacy risks and tried to tackle them. They should be applauded for that.

"It's important to note that TfL does not provide an anonymization scheme. It's called pseudonymization, as the data are not processed in a way making it impossible to calculate the data back, given resources.

"Commuters should have clear ways of opting out from Wi-Fi tracking monitoring if they choose so. Designing convenient options is paramount."


Source: SkyNews 


TAXI LEAKS EXTRA :



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Uber Defending Business Model At UK Tribunal On Worker Rights.

                 Bit late now Johnny boy!

Uber told a British employment appeal tribunal on Wednesday its drivers were self-employed, not workers entitled to a range of benefits, less than a week after it heard it would lose its London licence.

The U.S. ride-hailing service has faced regulatory and legal setbacks around the world amid opposition from traditional taxi services and concern among some regulators. It has been forced to quit several countries, such as Denmark and Hungary.


Losing its licence in London, one of the world’s wealthiest cities, is one of the U.S. technology firm’s biggest setbacks so far. The London regulator cited the firm’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers.

It can operate during its appeal, which could last months.

Last year, two drivers successfully argued at a tribunal that Uber exerted significant control over them to provide an on-demand taxi service and had responsibilities in terms of workers’ rights.

At the two-day appeal hearing starting on Wednesday, Uber said its drivers were self-employed and worked the same way as those at long-established local taxi firms.


The self-employed are entitled to only basic protections such as health and safety, but workers receive benefits such as the minimum wage, paid holidays and rest breaks. This would add to Uber’s costs and bureaucracy across Britain.

"The position of drivers who use the App is materially identical to the (familiar and long-established) position of self-employed private hire drivers who operate under the auspices of traditional minicab firms," Uber said in its court submission.

Minicabs, or private hire vehicles, sprung up in Britain more than 50 years ago. Minicabs cannot be hailed in the street like traditional taxis, but can be booked for specific times and places via a registered office with a call or via the internet.

Uber’s lawyer Dinah Rose said she would not discuss the firm’s loss of licence except to say: "It’s quite apparent from that decision that Uber is right to point out to this tribunal the regulatory constraints under which it operates."

Around 200 trade union-led protesters marched through central London on Wednesday against what they called “precarious labour" in the "gig economy", where people work for various employers at the same time without fixed contracts.


"All Uber want to do is flood the market with drivers, with no responsibility nor liability - keep reducing fares to attract more customers, while drivers carry all the risks," Yaseen Aslam, one of the two drivers involved in the tribunal claim, told the protest.

Some, however, opposed the decision by London’s regulator to strip Uber of its licence, saying the firm should be allowed to operate but must grant workers’ rights.

In a bid to strengthen itself in Britain, Uber said on Wednesday it was seeking to appoint a UK chairman, in a newly created non-executive role which it began recruiting for around six weeks ago.

In a further challenge for Uber, law firm Leigh Day said it would represent a female driver who says Uber is putting her and other women at risk as drivers do not know the passenger’s destination until they get in the car, and that could mean travelling to a remote or unsafe area.

An Uber spokesman said drivers could cancel trips without penalty and did not have to go to a particular area if they did not want to. He said many women worked for Uber due to its safety features.

"One of the main reasons why women choose to drive with Uber is because of the safety features in the app. All trips are GPS tracked and a driver is able to share a live map of their trip with a friend or loved one,” he said.

Source : Reuters 


Reform Taxi Laws and Stop Cross Border Working


I want uk govt to legislate urgently to Stop cross border working licensed vehicles and drivers work in the area of licence. 

Reform taxi laws to reflect technology, create national data for drivers,vehicles and private hire operators, common national standards, give more enforcement powers to local Local Authorities, national standards for local knowledge test, proper high standards regulations for private hire operators etc etc

Why is this important?

Its important taxi trade is properly regulated, its objective should be to protect public, first priority must be safety of the public and drivers properly regulated with high standards, by giving effective powers to local authorities to regulate and enforce.

Sign The Petition : 

Click link below !

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/reform-taxi-laws-and-stop-cross-border-working

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA :