by Graham Pierrepoint
Uber has hardly been out of the news over the past few months for a variety of reasons – whether it’s a result of their workplace culture, ongoing controversies regarding their drivers or their choice to ramp up surge pricing during a protest against US President Donald Trump, the firm has come under fire in a big way for a number of very public points. The taxi-hailing firm has, however, emerged victorious in recent weeks, having overturned a ban on their services in London following a successful appeal made against sanctions applied by Transport for London, or TfL. The ban initially occurred due to concerns with regard to corporate responsibility – and following a change in CEO, the company has been able to assure the courts that they are fit to hold a licence – though they do so on a limited basis pending further approvals.
It’s safe to say that while many are happy about the decision – particularly Uber drivers and their regular customers – many more aren’t. Those who are speaking out against the overturned ban include representatives for independent taxi drivers in the city, who claim that Uber have an unfair monopoly – making competition unfair with regard to who is willing to ride with which firm. This has, reportedly, escalated to the point where sources suggest that the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association – or LTDA – are getting ready to mount a huge legal challenge on the basis of loss of earnings.
The LTDA are the taxi drivers’ union in London, and sources close to the organisation suggest that they could be looking to sue Uber outright to the tune of more than £1 billion should they be successful in their challenge. It’s thought that the union may be conversing with legal representation to claim for loss of earnings on behalf of London taxi drivers – which could mean a colossal figure if average earnings for over 25,000 independent drivers are taken into account. Such claims are, at present, unconfirmed – and shouldn’t be accepted as news at this point – but if sources are to be believed, Uber’s London battles may just be beginning.
▶ London Taxi Drivers to Sue Uber
Uber is a popular taxi-hailing app which, despite its ease of use, has run into a number of high-profile controversies over the years – it will remain to be seen if this latest rumored twist in the tale will be another dramatic turn of events.