I'm going to start by thanking everyone who has been so supportive over the last 3 weeks since we embarked on this journey to bring a limb-b worker rights claim for taxi drivers who work on the MyTaxi App.
We have just over £800 to raise within the next 7 days - I reiterate the "we" because this employment case affects everyone, it affects me, taxi drivers, our children and our children's children - these corporate companies who operate Apps in every sector imaginable simply want to undermine the employment laws as set out by parliament and exploit ordinary working people for their own benefit - this cannot be right, and this is why I believe we must speak out.
I am so disappointed that the taxi trade organisations & unions have failed to support our efforts, one would think that protecting drivers working conditions would be high on the agenda of these organisations & unions, but alas, it seems not to be the case, so we must seek basic employment rights and worker protections alone.
None of this happens without your support, therefore, I'm humbled that you should be so kind with your pledges and overwhelmed by the messages of support.
I hear some of the concerns that have been rightly raised, and I will try to address some of the questions.
Q. Why do we want to lose our self-employed status?
A. A limb-b worker is a category of self-employed, therefore, as taxi drivers we won't lose our self- employed status, we simply gain worker status should we win.
Q. Would it damage "our" Apps [taxi apps]?
A. I’ll answer this with a question, by suspending and terminating drivers without giving any reason are MyTaxi damaging drivers’ livelihoods?
Q. Would MyTaxi be subject to VAT on the full taxi fare if I win an employment tribunal?
A. Potentially yes, but if MyTaxi were to win an employment tribunal it’d be unlikely that they are making the VATable supply, so they would need to argue really hard that they don't control the driver and they don't suspend or terminate drivers without reason - this is a very tricky argument for MyTaxi as I have been terminated without reason and so have many other drivers
Q. Would taxi drivers face additional costs (i.e. an increase in the procurement fee that is currently 10%)?
A. Doubtful, the employment tribunal regarding Uber determined that drivers are workers for all of the time the app is switched on and the driver is available (less the time the driver is unavailable because of other work). Therefore, if a driver has the app switched on for 10 hours per day then MyTaxi are potentially liable to pay drivers the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for the drivers’ available hours plus expenses - If a driver isn't being paid the NMW now at the 10% MyTaxi procurement rate, drivers certainly wouldn't be paid NMW if MyTaxi increased their procurement fee.
In short, claims that MyTaxi could "jack up" their procurement fee to cover basic worker rights and NMW payments is scaremongering.
Q. Is it crazy to bring an employment tribunal claim for basic worker rights against MyTaxi?
A. No, I allege that I was terminated for blowing the whistle on public safety, what employment protections do taxi drivers currently have for unfair dismissal when working on the MyTaxi App?
Q. Does Daimler own MyTaxi?
A. My understanding is that Daimler invests heavily in MyTaxi and minicab apps Taxify, ViaVan and Blacklane – Taxify & ViaVan minicab drivers don’t have worker rights, but Uber drivers do – work that one out – why doesn’t Daimler grant worker rights to these minicab drivers or any associated companies?
• There is still another funding round to go as we need to raise £18k in total – but we have time on our side.
• I’m confident that collectively we can make MyTaxi and other app companies aware of their responsibilities to ordinary working people.
• Finally, protecting drivers livelihoods should be the responsibility of Orgs & Unions, not individual drivers.
Please feel free to ask any questions or concerns that you have on Twitter my account is: @InThePinkTaxi and I will endeavour to answer as best I can.
Once again, thank you for your continued support.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
Is this the future that Taxi drivers really want....working for a third party investor owned App company, boasting about how many minicabs they have on their app???