Saturday, November 03, 2018

Minicab Driver Dismissed For Refusing To Deliver Poppies To FootballClub Remembrance Match


A minicab driver has been temporarily suspended after allegations he refused to deliver poppies to Villa Park ahead of Remembrance Sunday.
Kingstanding-based KMR Cars issued a statement following an incident involving one of its drivers and a passenger at the Perry Common Royal British Legion Club on College Road.


The row allegedly happened on Thursday afternoon, with a KMR minicab driver called to the club to take poppies to Aston Villa FC ahead of a designated Remembrance Day match with Bolton Wanderers.
A member of the Perry Common Royal British Legion called KMR Cars to drop poppies off at Villa Park.
Volunteers from the Royal British Legion would be selling poppies prior to kick-off, with representatives from the RAF, Army and Navy also attending the game.
On Thursday, though, members of the Perry Common Royal British Legion ordered a KMR car to drop off poppies to Villa Park.
However, it's been claimed that the driver asked what the poppies were before refusing to take them.
The matter has since been addressed by management at KMR Cars, with an internal investigation launched to investigate the incident further.


A spokesman said: "KMR Cars, as a company, acknowledges and has the most utmost respect for those who fought and put their lives on the line for all of us present today, and must be deservedly be remembered on Sunday 11th November 2018 with the poppy being of a symbol of such sacrifice."
Management later confirmed that "the driver in question has been identified and temporarily suspended from KMR Cars pending further investigation".


No-one was available to comment at Perry Common Royal British Legion Club.
Source : MSN, BBC
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
This statement from KMR Cars FaceBook page:
In regard to the allegations made on the 01/11/18. KMR Cars have completed the full investigation Please see summary points of the Investigation below:

In regard to how we had seen the journey at the office. We had taken the call of the booking at ‘13:01’. We then ‘Dispatched’ the journey to the driver at ‘13:01’. The drivers ‘Vehicle Arrived Time’ was ‘13:19’. His ‘Picked up’ time was ‘13:19’ and His ‘Job Completed’ time was ‘13:19’.

Therefore, on our system it had shown that the journey had been completed by the driver, which clearly had not been.Which shows that the driver had lied about even picking up the journey and completing the job. Due to this gross negligence of the driver and incompetence by not alerting the office of him not picking up the passenger. KMR Cars have dismissed the Driver who cannot be named (due to Data Protection Act) and He shall no longer be representing KMR Cars any longer.

All drivers are vetted and Licensed by their local council, therefore this matter has also been reported to Enforcement at Birmingham City Council (the identified drivers council) and the drivers’ details such as Badge Number, Vehicle Details have now been passed on to them and they are looking into this as a matter of urgency. We are now working with the Birmingham City Council regarding this issue and are assisting them in any way possible.

Once again we would like to reiterate KMR Cars as a company acknowledges and has the most utmost respect for those who fought and put their lives on the line for all of us present today and must be deservedly be remembered on Remembrance Sunday with the poppy being of a symbol of such sacrifice. KMR Cars has a ZERO PERCENT policy on any single staff/driver/customer who wishes to defame any remembrance/religious views. KMR Cars does not tolerate bias on the grounds of Race, Religion, Beliefs, Sex, Gender, Disability or other.

KMR Cars would like to apologise for the outrage that has been a result of this incident whilst we have needed time to gather information.

The company would like to thank those of you that have been patient in this matter and again reiterate that KMR Cars is grateful to our fallen heroes and are happy to have poppies in the vehicle as we have for a number of years preceding this incident. ❤

Friday, November 02, 2018

CITY OF LONDON LOCAL PLAN NOVEMBER 2018 Plus Heathrow Feeder Becomes Dearest Place To Charge TXe


  Are the 36 ranks and 134 standing in the City of London under threat?
  Will eTaxi only ranks be an option ?

CITY OF LONDON LOCAL PLAN NOVEMBER 2018

City Plan 2036

Shaping the future City

198 pages and not once is the word TAXI printed. 

Every other form of transport being mentioned and possibly catered for. 

http://democracy.cityoflondon.gov.uk/documents/s103835/Appendix%201%20Draft%20Plan.pdf

What will our largest org....the one with 10,000 subs riders do about this?

Smart money is on a policy of 'Wait and see'.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT: 

ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY :

LEVC have today announce tha the price of the new electric TXe will rise by 2% in January. The launch offer of 3 years years free servicing will also end on the 31st of December



Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse:
Heathrow feeder park announces new pricing structure which will make it the dearest place in London to charge up an electric TXe Taxi.

So much for better air quality priority along the M4 corridor.




Gett Taxi App Drops Massive Bombshell On Drivers, Threatening To Prosecute Under Data Protection Law.


Every Taxi driver in London will be aware of Chris Johnson's crowdfunding issue, in his attempt to hold Taxi Trade Apps to account and protect the future working practises of all drivers working/using Taxi apps.

Chris's action has exposed the fact that drivers are not being represented fully by their orgs or unions allegedly because of the advertising revenue and paid for adverts in their respective trade publications.

Unfortunately up till now, he has only been supported by a handful of drivers (354), interested in future protection of their working rights, raising just £9,284 of the £15,000 with just 27 days left to go. 

Taxi Trade App's Bombshell To Drivers.
Shape of things to come???

The trade orgs went to a meeting with the app providers earlier this week where the apps unleashed a bomb shell. 



They have informed reps from the orgs that in future, they will be reporting drivers, posting any information about jobs (details, costs, commissions), conversation with passengers, conversations with app representatives.... On social media or in printed form, to the police for possible prosecution under data protection laws. 

So, no more 
• "I took a passenger to the airport who told me he was paying £90 fixed price yet Gett are only paying me £60 and I still have to pay commission".... 

• "I asked up the office why I wasn't being offered work and they said I had rejected too many jobs".

• No protection against being deactivated for asking awkward questions like how come this company can brake Hackney carriage law by offering jobs to drivers while outside their licence area.




If Chris's action fails, there will be no checks and balances, no regulations in place in future to protect you while working on apps. 

With everyone saying that apps are the future (it's what the public want)...there is a possibility that most of the work will be on one app or another and street hails could eventually become very few and far between. 
Take the scenario where a driver asks awkward questions and is deactivated and banned from an app...what's to say there won't be a black list and that driver will no longer be able to earn a living as a a Taxi driver because street hails have disappeared? 

Do you not think there should be regulation in place to stop this scenario from becoming a reality???

This action is not about changing your status from being self employed...as a Hackney Carriage Taxi driver, you will always be self employed. 

The action is solely about protecting your future working practises. 


It's not to late but you have to act now and support Chris Johnson. 

Click on the link below: 


False Classification Of Taxi Muggings As Theft From Motor Vehicles Detracting From Real Issue

Just seen a letter from Neil Reynolds detective Inspector, Gangs and Proactive Unit Westminster, to local MP Karen Buck. 

It seems although many drivers are making complaints to the Met about the mugging/Attempted Muggings, they are not being recorded as attacks against Taxi drivers (which of course they are) too many are being recorded as thefts from motor vehicles. 

Therefore the letter to local MP Karen Buck starts although the attacks over the summer were low with just 2 attacks in June and 2 in July, 4 in August and 0 in September.... although he does go on to say there was a sharp rise to 7 in October.  

But this is nowhere near the true figure as some weeks there are multiple attacks nightly. 

As for the high profile Georgie Vyse attack, he states it’s not been recorded properly. 

He also states Cabbies not doing enough to protect themselves saying valuables shouldn’t be left on front passenger seat ???

He obviously doesn’t know much about the layout of a Taxi. 

He also inferred "drivers not reporting crimes quick enough"... tell that to Colin who was the victim of an acid attack while on the rank at Marylebone Station. Took him 25 minutes to get through on 999, only to be told they had no units in the vicinity. 


Letter reads:

Dear Karen

I have been asked to provide you with a response in relation to the concerns raised by Mr Anthony Casey regarding robberies of black cab drivers in the area around Lisson Green Estate.

Having reviewed the crimes recorded, the number of offences of this nature reported over the summer are relatively low, 2 in June, 2 in July, 4 in August and 0 in September, however there has been a recent increase to 7 similar reports having been made in October so far.

The majority of these reports have not involved violence and are recorded as thefts, only two offences have been recorded as robberies where the victim were punched both of these occurred in October.

Having reviewed the offences many of these offences were not reported to the police at the time of the offence but have been reported 1-2 days later and have limited investigative opportunities through which to identify the suspects adding to the difficulty in prosecuting the offenders. 

It may be that other offences go completely unreported too, mr Casey refers to the Vic Tim by the name of George Vyse but I cannot locate a report relating to an incident involving Mr Vyse.

The usual method is for one of the suspects to distract the driver when paying the fair while his associate steals items from the front passenger seat of the cab although there have also been a few using a more elaborate distraction involving the use of the wheelchair ramp in the cab. 

I do believe that a number of these offences could’ve been prevented with basic crime prevention measures and would advise the following


* remain cautious when transporting groups of young men around Edgeware Road and the Lisson Green area

* Keep front passenger door locked and window closed when transporting such groups

* Be weary of requests distracting you to the back of the cab e.g. seatbelt stuck or wheelchair ramp required

* Do not keep your valuables in view on the front passenger seat or consul area

* Always lock your cab and keep processions safe when exciting the vehicle

* Report crimes to police immediately and insure any CCTV footage is produced to the police at the earliest opportunity.

Westminster gangs unit regularly patrol this area, are aware of these offences and pay attention to taxicabs in order to identify these offenders. They also arrested for suspects towards the end of June for a similar offence, The suspects are currently released under investigation while enquiries are ongoing. I will ensure my colleagues in other areas of business working around Lisson Green are also aware of the recent increase in offences, to insure the suspects are targeted.

If you have any further questions regarding this issue please do let me know.

Many thanks

Neil

Neil Reynolds/ detective inspector/ Gangs and proactive unit/ Westminster-CW

Address: Charing Cross police station, Agar Street, London WC2N 4JP

So, you can see according to the detective inspector the problem we have is twofold, 

• Drivers not reporting attacks. 

• Drivers not at the time of the incident.

But in reality the attacks are being recorded incorrectly therenby giving a false perspective of the danger we face. The muggings have been going on for three years now, and can't be left any longer. 

The situation needs to be dealt with swiftly, before a driver is seriously injured or even killed.

You can also see from his letter, detective Inspector Neil Reynolds isn’t very clued up about taxis... referring to front passenger seats which will only be found in minicabs not Taxis

If you are a victim of such an attack report it straight away, plus contact:

Scott Barden Marshall, the neighbourhood policing sergeant for the areas covered by, Abby Road, Lisson Grove, Church Street and Little Venice Maida Vale. 

Scott is based at 80a Church Street NW8 8ET 

And you can phone am9-5pm on; 0207 321 8505

You can also contact Scott out of hours in his email address;

P226058@met.police.uk

 Some good advice from the detective Inspector but if these crimes are going to carry on being falsely collated, not too much help I’m afraid.


Taxi Leaks would like to thank Tony Casey for the amount of work he has put into this issue getting things up to this level and involving MP Karen Buck.

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
The police have asked that drivers send all recent photos and videos to 

Scott is based at 80a Church Street NW8 8ET 

And you can phone am9-5pm on; 0207 321 8505

You can also contact Scott out of hours in his email address;

P226058@met.police.uk


This is the rouges gallery of what we have so far :

VIDEO :

    

PHOTOS :

NEW TODAY :






Thursday, November 01, 2018

TfLTPH COs Overstepping Their Authority Again. Part 2


After my post earlier this week, I contacted TfLTPH Twitter account and asked them to order their CO's not to harass and bully drivers using authorised hand held units. 

I asked them to show me any cab order or compliance regulation that states openly and clearly, drivers can only use rear fixed units. 


They came back with a link to the London Cab Order 2016 which only states Taxi drivers are required to accept card payments as a condition of their licence. We agree with this.



We then asked them to give us a link to any regulation that states only rear fixed units. They answered with a link to TfL web page. 


After reading everything on the TfL website concerning CC units, we now believe that this regulation doesn't exist.

Adding a comment to a Twitter account is not legislation or regulation, it is just a comment from an account operator. The statement that handheld payment devices do not meet licensing requirements and are regarded as unapproved devices, has no legal standing in regards to Taxi regulations or compliance.....what we need here is a test case bought against TfL by the orgs and Unions (don't hold your breath)

Yesterday and today we contacted TfLTPH with regards to our findings but they have so far refused to comment further. 

So, by their silence, we concur, there is in fact no legislation or compliance regulation that backs up the comment made by the TfLTPH account operator. 

As long as you use an authorised unit from the list of 14 shown on their website or in the case of the LEVC 11 shown on website, drivers are compliant. 

Unfortunately TfL have not told their COs that they don't have the authority to insist to drivers and passengers on drop of points at mainline stations, that they must use the rear fitted units. 
The COs are acting as unauthorised agents for third party stakeholders. 


If you have been reported or had an unfit notice on the cab, through using a hand held unit....put the matter in the hands of your Union or Org's legal team, as TfL do not have a leg to stand on with this issue. 

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
Also, a few weeks ago, two taxis were left on the drop off at Euston. The drivers were down on the rank given leaflets to passengers on behalf of Gett. 

A complaint was lodge with a senior compliance officer, but his reply came back, "there's nothing we can do because Euston station is private property". 

Our question is, if Euston is private property, how can COs carry out badge and Bill checks down on the rank?

Is this another case of TfL working on behalf and promoting a third party stakeholder?  

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Piracy By The Mayor Of London : ILLEGAL Eviction Of Gallions Point Marina Ltd



We've posted this story as Leigh Miller is a big supporter of the London Taxi Trade.
What if we told you that Sadiq Khan, the elected Mayor Of London, has been willfully abusing his power in public office by illegally evicting a legitimate company from its premises, illegally taking over its businesses, administration office, plant machinery and equipment, and hijacking a marina and boatyard, only to hand it all over to the Royal Docks Management Authority (RoDMA), one of his Mayoral/GLA-funded companies – stealing all the company’s contracted clients in the process?

You’d naturally assume that this is a made up story, right? As a matter of fact, this actually happened at 10.49am on 9 October 2018 to a family run business in East London: Gallions Point Marina Ltd, when the GLA, controlled by the Mayor Of London, ordered an eviction without giving any notice. Four High Court bailiffs, 20 private security guards and four security dog unit vans brutally and forcefully evicted two female members of staff from the marina’s administration office. 

Leigh Miller was assaulted by the GLA’s private security in the presence of the police (incidentally the staff called the Police to assist their help in stopping the illegal eviction!) as she went to access where she lives to retrieve a few essential personal possessions: handbag containing prescription medication, ID cash card and some clothes. It was clear GLA’s private security had been pre briefed to deny Leigh to access to her home to retrieve even a single item.  She was left standing with nothing but the clothes on her back.  Leigh went back to the Marina in the evening to try and retrieve her medication and a few personal items and was physically assaulted for a second time by GLA’s private security.  Who duly informed her that the GLA had instructed them under no circumstances were they to allow Leigh to access any of her personal possessions.  These events raise more worrying questions about the ex-human rights lawyer Sadiq Khan, now the Mayor Of London who completely ignored Leigh Millers basic human rights during this illegal eviction.  And more even questions by using the Met Police to enforce illegal evictions. Estimated cost of this outrageous exercise to the public purse: £30,000.

East Dock view, September 2018

Since 2016, Gallions Point Marina has been locked in an ongoing legal fight with the Mayor Of London, who is using the might and finance of three publicly funded authorities – GLA, TFL and RoDMA – to smother with litigation the Miller family who own the marina business. The plan is to terrify and crush Eric and Leigh Miller personally with eye-watering legal costs so the Mayor can get his hands on the marina and hand it over to London and Regional, a property company whose majority shareholders are billionaire developers the Livingstone brothers. The hyper-publicity-shy Livingstone brothers will then run and operate someone else’s marina under the questionable guise of “the Albert Island Vision”… with the new Mayor (no different from the old Mayor) of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz in cahoots, aiding these private profiteers who are land-grabbing publicly owned land from the people of Newham! A big media fanfare is being used to promote this “Albert Island Vision” by the Mayor Of London and the Mayor of Newham. It’s a carbon copy of the massive London Olympic scam (dig a bit and you’ll find it’s the same key public policy players behind it…Jules Pipe ex Mayor of Hackney, now Khan’s right hand land grab Regen man) with public land and public money going into private profiteers’ pockets with the flimsiest promises of jobs and homes. The reality is that these homes will be predominantly private, with a few paltry old chestnut crumbs of “affordable” homes – aka social housing for wealthy professionals earning upwards of £60,000 a year, and totally unaffordable to Newham residents and working-class Londoners.

   

During the eviction of the marina, the bailiffs, who were assisted by the Met Police (also controlled by the Mayor of London), were immediately informed that their High Court writ paperwork was incorrect. Staff presented them with the Gallions Point Marina Limited company incorporation documents and court-stamped Judicial Review application documents (dated 4 October 2018) to prove that the legal case is still active within the court system. Dated 2 October 2018, the High Court eviction writ from RoDMA (funded and controlled by the Mayor Of London, and who incidentally are only supposed to control the water and not the land) was incorrectly addressed to private individuals, Eric Miller and Leigh Miller, and not to the company that is both the legal occupier and also the legal sitting tenant of the marina. Eric and Leigh do not pay the rent and their clients do not pay the Miller family. Gallions Point Marina Limited makes all rent payments, and all client payments are made to Gallions Point Marina Limited. So the High Court eviction writ should have been addressed to Gallions Point Marina Ltd and not to Eric Miller and Leigh Miller. The bailiffs also refused point-blank to hand over a second writ dated 2 October 2018 from GLA Land & Property Limited (again controlled by The Mayor Of London) and an attached map. They refused to provide copies of these documents and to allow any copies of these documents to be made.

Gallions Point used for sales & marketing

The legal action has been directed at Eric and Leigh personally. It is clearly a tactical shock-and-awe attack by three publicly funded entities, GLA, TFL and RoDMA, all controlled by Sadiq Khan, the Mayor Of London. The Mayor’s modus operandi in this aggressive pre-planned attack and blatant piracy of the Millers’ business stinks of institutional joint enterprise and abuse within public office. Ironically the GLA took rent from Gallions Point Marina Ltd’s business account on 5 October 2018. And RoDMA took rent from the Marina’s business account on 15 October 2018, six days after it forcibly and illegally evicted Gallions Point Marina Ltd.



There is no court order in existence for possession or eviction against Gallions Point Marina Ltd. The High Court writ was addressed to Eric Miller & Leigh Miller. Gallions Point Marina is a separate entity that has been totally excluded from the legal case, despite legally occupying the land and paying the rent since 1999. The company is also a legal sitting tenant. The 2010 lease was never signed and there is hard evidence to confirm that The GLA are aware of this fact 

Backstory:
Eric Miller founded the marina in 1992 on derelict, contaminated wasteland in the Albert Docks. At the time people laughed at Eric...
                       

They told him he was mad to set up a boat yard there. But Eric and his daughter Leigh prevailed and pumped blood, sweat, tears, and every penny they earned for 27 years into creating Gallions Point Marina and its infrastructure


Source : FreedomNews.org.UK


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Taxi Licence Renewals ... TfL Liable For Loss Of Earnings After Drivers Lied To? by Jim Thomas


In some cities it takes just 4 minutes to become an Uber driver. In London, you can be up and running as an Uber driver in as little as four weeks. 

Yet Taxi drivers who have been working as licensed Hackney carriage drivers, many for over twenty/thirty years are waiting 4-6 months, just to get their licenses renewed. 

Many drivers have lost work, some up to 2-3 months after being told by TfLTPH that they can’t work until they are in possession of their new licence!

This is (of course) not true!
The fact is that under the Transport Act 1985 section 17 subsection 7, your current licence continues to be valid until you receive your new licence.

Back in May 2014, I sent this email to Sir Peter Hendy who was then commissioner of TfL, the position of held by Mike Brown. 

Licence Renewals:
Under current legislation, a Taxi or private hire driver has the right to carry on working while waiting for a renewal for as long as it takes, unless he is informed that his licence application has been unsuccessful. 

I would like to bring your attention to the transport act 1985 section 17 subsection 7 which clearly states:

(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.


See

Therefore, in our legal teams opinion there is no need for TfL to issue temporary licences and the driver should carry on working as his old licence will remain in force until he either receives a newly issued licence or receives word his application is turned down.

As hundreds of drivers have lost many days-weeks-months income, after being of the opinion they can't work, could you please make an immediate statement informing these drivers that under the act of 1985, they can in fact carry on regardless.  

One word from you Sir Peter would mean they could carry on earning a living and would put an end to the massive amount of stress TfL have inflicted on these drivers and their families.

Space will be mad available for your answer on the Taxi Leaks blog.

Regards 

Jim Thomas 

This is the reply we received from Leon Daniels, on behalf of Sir Peter Hendy:

 Dear Mr Thomas,
I refer to your email to Sir Peter Hendy regarding the provisions of section 17(7) of the Transport Act 1985 in relation to taxi drivers renewing their licences. Please accept my apologies for the delay in providing a reply.

As far as is possible we will issue a driver his or her new licence in advance of their old licence expiring.

However, this is dependent on the driver submitting a complete and timely application, which includes the result of the DBS check and any other information that is required, as we cannot make a licensing decision until this information is received. 

It is therefore imperative that drivers start the application process in good time to allow for all necessary checks to be completed before their licence expires.

Where we are provided with a complete application, including the results of the DBS check and any other necessary information, but have not yet made a licensing decision before the old one expires, the existing licence will remain in force until a decision is made in accordance with section 17(7). 

In these circumstances, a driver will not be issued with, nor require, a temporary licence pending a decision being made on their application.

Please note that contrary to the comment in your email, section 17 of the Transport Act 1985 only applies to London taxi driver and vehicle licences, not London private hire vehicle driver licences. (Well, we can live with this bit)

Kind regards

Leon Daniels | Managing Director  
Transport for London | Surface Transport | Palestra |
11th Floor - Zone R4| 197 Blackfriars Road|Southwark|SE1 8NJ

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :

TFL's woefully inadequacy gets worse. 
From Thursday 1 November, there will be a temporary night time taxi rank between 00:00 and 04:00 on the east side of Wilton Road, outside the Apollo Theatre. 

The rank at Terminus Place will not be available. At all other times, the rank in Hudson Place serves Victoria Station.


More scandal swept under TFL's massive carpet: 

Mohiussunnath Chowdhury attacked three police officers with a samurai sword while shouting 'Allahu akbar'.

And in December 2015 a Uber driver, Muhiddin Mire, tried to behead a stranger in a London Tube station, yelling: 'This is for my Syrian brother. 


https://twitter.com/dddaughters/status/1057094419697016832?s=21

Last Week Uber Were Going To Buy All It’s Drivers Electric Cars...This Week, They Are Just 3rd Parties.


A long-running case over the status of Uber drivers will be heard in the Court of Appeal on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The taxi-hailing app is contesting an employment tribunal finding that drivers should be treated as workers rather than self-employed.

If classified as workers, Uber drivers are entitled to paid holiday and the minimum wage. Unions calculate this could be worth £18,000 per driver. (70,000 drivers nationwide)

Uber said the tribunal "fundamentally misunderstood" how it operated. This is also what they told judge Emma Arbuthnot! 

It is the latest stage in a legal battle led by two Uber drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, who won an employment tribunal in October 2016.

After the tribunal ruling in October 2016, Uber appealed to the employment tribunal, but lost in November 2017. The tribunal upheld its original decision that any Uber driver who had the Uber app switched on was working for the company under a "worker" contract.

Uber is now taking the case to the Court of Appeal, the next stage of the appeal process before the Supreme Court.


James Farrar is one of the two drivers at the centre of the case

Uber said that 60,000 licensed private hire drivers now use its app across UK. 

But the case could have implications beyond Uber, according to law firm Leigh Day.

"This appeal is of great significance not only to Uber drivers but also to millions of other workers in the gig economy and we hope that this can now bring this matter to a conclusion for the benefit of all workers," said Nigel Mackay, partner at Leigh Day. 

Law firm Leigh Day started the legal action against Uber on behalf of 25 members of the GMB union, which initially included Mr Farrar and Mr Aslam but they pursed their case with a different union, the IWGB, 

What is the 'gig' economy?

Uber drivers win key employment case

Mr Farrar, who is branch chair of the IWGB United Private Hire Drivers branch, said mini-cab drivers were still waiting for justice, two years after the tribunal ruling.

"As the government ignores this mounting crisis, it's been left to workers to fix this broken system and bring rogue bosses to account. If anything gives me hope, it is the rising tide of precarious workers that are organising and demanding a fair deal," he said.

'Significant' financial implications

Uber said it had made changes to give drivers more control over how they use its app. It also cited a study by Oxford University that found drivers make more than the London Living Wage and want to keep the freedom to choose if, when and where they drive.

"Almost all taxi and private hire drivers have been self-employed for decades, long before our app existed. We believe the Employment Appeal Tribunal last year fundamentally misunderstood how we operate," an Uber spokesperson said

"For example, they relied on the assertion that drivers are required to take 80% of trips sent to them when logged into the app, which has never been the case in the UK."

The GMB said Uber should admit defeat.

Sue Harris, legal director at GMB, said: "While the company are wasting money losing appeal after appeal, their drivers are up to £18,000 out of pocket for the last two years alone.

"That's thousands of drivers struggling to pay their rent, or feed their families."

The £18,000 figure is based on an Uber driver in London working a 40-hour week.

Paul Jennings, partner at Bates Wells, the law firm representing Mr Farrer and Mr Aslam, said a key issue in this case was whether Uber had mischaracterised the employment status of its fleet and in so doing failed to observe fundamental employment rights. 

"The financial implications of this judgment could be very significant," Mr Jennings said. 

The IWGB said Deliveroo riders, outsourced cleaners, restaurant workers and others in the gig economy would take place in a march on Tuesday to raise the issues facing "precarious workers"

Source : BBC

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 

TAXI LEAKS has been informed that tomorrow morning, the Trade Associations & Unions will be meeting with both Mytaxi & GETT.... to discuss trade concerns and questions



Monday, October 29, 2018

Exclusive : The FIX 2, The LTDA AGM, You Decide ? ..... by LondonTaxiRadio.

The LTDA’s 2018 AGM. 

STOP PRESS.  STOP PRESS.

Forget what you’ve been told, here is The LTDA’s AGM (before, during and after) detailing the scandalous lengths the COM will go to prevent drivers asking pertinent questions that desperately need answering.


See video below 👀

After suffering a landslide defeat at the 2017 branch elections, what could the association do to ensure another 2 outsiders don’t become eligible for elections to the COM in 2020? 

Surely they wouldn’t be reduced to staging another debacle like the one at Harlesden? 

Or perhaps something worse, like an engineered series of events that’d lead to the branches - and subsequent election- being cancelled? 

You decide

   

Private Hire Licenses Are Being Issued To Convicted Criminals In Secret Council Meetings

Private Hire licences, are being issued behind closed doors to drivers convicted of offences including child sex crimes and reckless driving, the Local Democracy Reporting Service has revealed.

The findings follow a government report that claims current taxi and private hire laws are "not fit for the modern world".

According to the report, rules need tightening on everything from CCTV use in taxis to criminal record checks.

In London last year, it was revealed that private hire drivers had submitted 13,000 fake DBS criminal record check certificates. 


Some existing laws date back to 1847.

In most areas licences for taxis and private hire vehicles - or minicabs - are issued by unitary, borough or district councils. In London the system is managed by Transport for London.

In recent weeks, Local Democracy Reporters have reported that: 

  • A Private Hire driver in Sandwell was allowed to keep working, despite a criminal conviction for sexually assaulting a child. The case was heard in private
  • A Cornwall private hire driver was granted a licence behind closed doors, even though he had been convicted of causing death by reckless driving in 1986 and common assault in 2011
  • Birmingham City Council revoked a private hire licence in February, more than two years after the unnamed driver had been convicted of human trafficking offences in Belgium. Licensing staff found out through a criminal records check when his licence was up for renewal - but it had gone unnoticed when the licence was renewed in 2016
  • In Scotland, burglars, arsonists, domestic abusers, thieves and reckless drivers were all successful in acquiring private hire licences from Borders Council

The Bolton News also reported that licensing chiefs let a private hire driver off with a warning - also in private - after he was convicted of driving without due care and attention and failing to stop after an accident.

Bury Council, however, refused to give a private hire licence to a driver accused of sexual assault, even though he was later found not guilty of the allegations. 

As the licensing authority, many councils hold the hearings in private under local government rules about protecting personal information.

They have to decide if someone is "fit and proper" before granting a taxi or private hire licence. Although guidance has been published by the government and Local Government Association there are no legal rules on how to determine a "fit and proper person".


Donna Short, director of the National Private Hire and Taxi Association, said there was "nothing sinister" about the private meetings. 

She said they simply showed councils following their data protection protocols, but added a national driver database would help reduce the number of licences being given to convicted criminals.

A voluntary scheme run by the Local Government Association lets licensing departments check for drivers who have had licences revoked elsewhere, Mrs Short said, and was a good interim measure.

The government report was completed by the Task and Finish Group on Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Licensing in September. It was set up by the Department for Transport to look at a "safer and more robust system".

The group's chairman, Prof Mohammed Abdel-Haq, called the current situation "inconsistent, ineffective and incompatible with the protection of vulnerable people" and said the government needed to act quickly to avoid putting public safety at risk.

Following abuse scandals in RochdaleRotherham and Oxford, it has called for CCTV to be installed in all taxis and minicabs, criminal records checks for drivers every six months and the ability to check if a licence application has previously been refused elsewhere.

The report's 34 recommendations also included:

  • The ability to take action against "out-of-area" drivers - those licensed by another council
  • New guidance on which convictions should be seen as grounds for refusing or revoking a licence
  • A major rule change to make sure drivers either start or finish each journey in the area that licenses them
  • A national database so councils can check if drivers have had licenses refused or revoked elsewhere
  • English language checks for drivers
  • A "cap" on the number of taxi and private hire licences in each council area

Personal safety charity the Suzy Lamplugh Trust has done its own research into the taxi and private hire trade. 

The charity's Saskia Garner, who was part of the task group, said it found inconsistencies in how councils dealt with convictions and "worrying patterns of behaviour" by drivers.

"Although taxi and private hire drivers hold a position of trust, transporting passengers who are often alone and in a locked vehicle, the highest level of criminal checks is not required in law - only recommended in guidelines," she said. 

"Passengers are therefore being left at risk." 

Most drivers did not pose a personal safety risk to passengers, she added, but they were being let down by a minority slipping through the net. 

The Department for Transport said it was considering the report and would be responding "in due course".

It added: "Taxis and private hire vehicles provide a vital community service helping people get to the shops, see their friends or go to work and school.

"But they need to ensure the safety of their passengers is paramount, especially when transporting the most vulnerable in society."

A Private Member's Bill that would have brought in some of those changes was "talked out" of the Commons earlier this year, but could be discussed again this week.

Daniel Zeichner, the MP behind that bill, backed the new report and said he hoped it was a "catalyst for action that is so badly needed".

Source : BBC

TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT : 

Another U-know who driver managed to turn his private hire car upside down on the Aldwych his morning. This is becoming a far to frequent sight on the streets of the capital. 

Well done TfL.


Stratford this afternoon.....this driver didn't quite manage to roll completely over, but well done TfL for scrapping the advanced driver tests!