Senior reps from all orgs, will be attending a meeting today, hosted by the RMT at Unity House.
But there is only one org that actually had funds to make a sizeable bent in the fight against the TfL/Uber's strangle hold on our trade.....and the sad fact is, they held on to their 'War Chest'.
The evidence was always out there:
Time line in this months red hot Badge, from the LCDC...page 3
THIS FROM GERALD GOURIET QC
PAGE THREE OF THE BADGE :
Mayor Sadiq Khan City Hall The Queen’s Walk London
6th June 2018
Dear Mayor Khan,
Thank you for your letter dated 30th April in reply to our letter I sent to you on the 5th April. Having read your response, although at the time one paragraph (see below) was seemingly correct, subsequent events prove that this was not the case.
“ Turning to the concerns you have raised about Uber, as I have made clear on several occasions, all applicants for private hire operator licences are required to demonstrate that they comply with Private Hire legislation and Uber London Limited (ULL) was licensed as a Private Hire Operator in London 2012, having met the same pre–licensing requirements as any other applicant for an Operator’s licence at the time.”
2012: At the time of licensing TFL were made aware of concerns regarding the recording of bookings. Why didn’t TFL check their systems instead of relying on Uber assurances?
2013: Clifford Chance on behalf of the LPHCA writes to TFL stating that it is the driver who accepts the bookings - this is a precursor to the TFL model investigation.
2014: TfL conduct Uber model Investigation (approx. 7 months). At no stage did Uber demonstrate to TFL that their systems were compliant, they just accepted assurances.
2016: The LCDC were given transcripts of the Toronto case involving Uber on the 25th May and we put it straight out on social media. TFL would have been aware of this at the time and later they used it on their Uber refusal letter.
2016: (October) Employment Tribunal Hearing, it was again stated that the driver takes the booking, this was also used in the Uber refusal letter from TFL
2016: (October) Helen Chapman writes to Uber just after the Employment Tribunal Hearing to discuss how bookings are managed.
2017: (16th May) TFL writes to Uber requesting permission for an I.T systems architect to visit ULL and review the way the technology and booking process works. This is SIX MONTHS after the Employment Tribunal and a full year after the Toronto case became widely publicised.
2017: (26th May) Uber receives a four-month licence (under the 2012 licensing criteria), although it is abundantly clear that TFL have STRONG suspicions that Uber systems were not compliant.
2017: (7th August) Deloitte’s report states that Uber systems are non-compliant.
2017: Uber licence refused.
As you can see Mayor Khan, there were many occasions where TFL could and should have accepted their legal responsibility of a Regulator and revoked Uber’s licence.
One can only hope that the Law Courts do a far better job of the law than TFL have over the last six years.
At one stage, Taxi Leaks pointed out to TfL that Uber were operating from unlicensed premises in N1, with their operators licence issued to an addressed in Old Marylebone Road (Winchester House).
TfL gave Uber 6 weeks grace to get a licence variation. Any other operator would have been shut down immediately under the standing legislation.
And yet the truth was, Uber weren't operating from any address in London, but from servers in Holland!!!
We had the lies from TFL's 'Leon the Liar', it's not a meter, they have on/off insurance, they have a customer help phone line....
The Times and Sun, simultaneously broke the story of Uber driver's fake medicals.
Last year the Sunday Times broke the news that 13,000 Uber drivers had fake DBS certificates and TfL had known but swept it under the carpet
We were told all drivers would have to reapply, but this didn't happen.
Then at the employment tribunal, it came out again, that Uber's bookings are taken by the driver in vehicle and TfL never so much as batted an eyelid!
If/when Uber lose their appeal, the orgs will be falling over themselves shouting "it was all our work".
But the truth is it was the hard work a just handful of ordinary, unpaid militant drivers, supported by those who actually turned up at demos, who fought tooth and nail to expose the corruption.
Our full respect must go to the unsung (unpaid) heroes, such as the three drivers who acquired and sorted through the hundreds of FOI requested emails, showing TfL knew exactly what was going on and bent over backwards to help Uber cover up its compliance issues. With the help of a supportive journalist they managed to get Inspector Bellany's letter published in mainstream media.
This evidence has been put out there and yet the trades most of the trade's orgs have gone along with the instruction of let's wait and see....
As we run out of time, we can only hope that this meeting will be the springboard to take the orgs together in the same direction.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
Let's also look at the wonderful 'done deal' over the mandate of CC acceptance.
On average, Taxi drivers are currently paying between 3.5 and 4.5% in transaction charges, with news that charges may soon be going up....and yet TfL, who insisted we take cards, and can only use TfL approved service providers, pay only 1% on their contactless transactions on Tubes and buses. [Who can forget deputy Mayor Isabel Dedring's words "the Taxi trades transactions will be handled by our gold standard partners].