Hi Ladies & Gents, I hope you are all well and keeping your heads above water. It's not getting any easier is it!
I must tell you about some developments in the Taxi trade that could well be a game changer.
As we've all watched year after year the entity that is Transport for London dismantling our trade, and all our cries simply falling on deaf ears, LTPH boss Helen Chapman once arrogantly told us "If you don't like it take us to court"!
Well here it is folks... Full on legal action!
The United Trade Action Group (UTAG) have done the talking and now they're doing the walking. They have started the ball rolling with this legal action and it is now up to us to support it.
This action comes in a 3 pronged approach...
1. To Judicially Review the decision of Westminster Magistrates to grant a license to Uber on the basis of conflict of interest and flawed reasoning.
2. To hold Transport for London to account under multiple causes of action including its failure to regulate the statutory regime.
3. To hold Uber to account under multiple causes of action including economic torts and the interference of the trade's exclusive right to ply for hire.
One thing I can tell you is that No1 is already in the bag. After some fantastic work by the UTAG team the Hon Mr Justice Walker has granted a Judicial Review of the original case after it was discovered that the Judge's husband works for one of Uber's major investors. You don't need to make it up!
After she was rumbled Judge Emma Arbuthnot, Britain's most senior Magistrate then pulled out of a similar case in Brighton for exactly that reason. That spoke volumes and Mr Justice Walker saw sense and granted a review of the whole case again... Minus Judge Emma Arbuthnot!
It should have been black & white... Are Uber fit and proper or are they not?
Not... Let's do everything we can to help them. Operator licenses are either for 5 years or they are refused. Where she got a 15 month license from I will never know, despite even admitting that she had seen no change in Uber's nefarious practices to suggest they were now a 'Fit & Proper' operator.
Her job should have been simply to decide yay or nay!
Granting the application, Mr Justice Walker said "Uber had gravely misled the regulator and the court".
Pretty damning words if you ask me!
So we are back in the game, Uber have had their license refused and are appealing to get it back. (They can still operate under appeal). Now unless British Justice is something other than what we've all grown up to believe, I reckon their chances of success this time are pretty minimal. It may be wishful thinking but there is a mountain of evidence against why they should be granted a license. They even admitted in court that they had been operating illegally by taking the booking direct to the drivers and not complying with the law of going through an operator first, which everybody on the planet outside of Palestra knows is illegally plying for hire.
I do hope you share my optimism in this, and you'd better be prepared to fill the void when they get their sorry arses kicked out!
So onto No2... Holding TfL to account. Transport for London are a law unto themselves and literally accountable to nobody. Well almost nobody, the one place they can't fob us off with their nonsense is in a court of law. It really is the only way we will ever beat them, but if we don't take the fight to them we will never know. The destruction of our trade must be stopped!
I've worked at Heathrow Airport for about a decade now. For years the average wait time was always 2 hours. Now its 4 hours. Well I'm no Carol Vorderman but that in my book is a 50% pay cut. My business damaged by TfL granting a license for Uber to operate illegally. Sorry but that's not on, they need to be held to account!
Let's make Helen Chapman rue those words!
No3. To hold Uber to Account.
Uber admitted in court that were operating illegally during their Workers Rights trial. Enough said for me... I want compensation!
So as you can see there is already a tonne of evidence in our favour and I would be very surprised if getting a result wasn't a mere formality. We've just got to do it!
And that's where we all come in. This stuff costs money... Lots of it and we need to start raising it fast. We have a fantastic opportunity to right all the wrongs in this trade but if we don't take it we will never get that chance again, and things will just continue to get worse with private hire helping themselves until it becomes unviable for us to go to work. That's the reality folks.
I don't want that and I doubt you do too so this is a no brainer. The UTAG group are asking for drivers to help fund this legal action. Go to their website
for full details and join the 000s of drivers who have already signed up. This is our trade let's fight to save it!
And it's not just drivers... The UTAG group are also made up of suppliers and services to the taxi trade. There are some big players on board who have already donated large sums and worked hard to get this thing off the ground. Bravo to you guys, and if there's anyone out there reading this now who earns their living connected to the taxi trade then get onboard too. Our trade is your trade!
Also don't confuse this legal action with the other one that is running simultaneously lead by solicitors Mishcon de Reya. Theirs is seperate to this and is designed purely to seek compensation from Uber.
I don't know about you but I want more than that. I want Uber stopped from operating. I want TfL stopped from destroying us. I want to go back to operating with the sole right to ply for hire having earned it through doing the Knowledge. And I want compensation for the damage done thus far. This action if successful should address those issues.
What do you want?
Some come on guys and gals, lets all get on board with this, sign up, spread the word to everyone you know, and lets go for the jugular!
As the title of this email says... It's Now or Never!