Taxileaks understand that London Cabbie Chris Johnson is bringing an employment tribunal claim against app operator MyTaxi.
Johnson claims that he was unfairly dismissed after a series of whistleblowing claims and questions surrounding his employment status on the app.
We understand that for Johnson to lose an employment tribunal MyTaxi will need to argue he was operating independently on the app, akin to plying for hire, If he wins, drivers using the app will be entitled to basic protections such as National Minimum Wage, paid annual leave and protection under anti-discrimination legislation. Given the increasing market dominance of these apps these are important rights and winning may well stop apps like MyTaxi illegitimately undercutting individuals who are genuinely operating on their own account.
An employment tribunal rightly brings the arguments in to the public domain and it's an argument that the trade must have "this is about 'our' future claims Johnson.
Do we (orgs/unions/drivers) want to try to close down the ability of taxi app companies putting private hire drivers on the app like Hailo & Gett did? Or do we want to walk blindly into oblivion.. and an eventual one tier system?
We all accept that apps have revolutionised the industry and drivers and passengers have embraced this, but if we are going to protect ourselves isn't it best that we fight for basic employment rights if app companies want to suspended or terminate us without reason....?
Johnson is looking to raise £18,000 to fund a legal challenge against MyTaxi.