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  • 2017-12-13 18:42:12
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Title Title
Uber's future in London Uber's future in London
Summary Summary
A London tribunal dismissed Uber's appeal on employee rights, but the company's fight to keep its operating licence continues A London tribunal dismissed Uber's appeal on employee rights, but the company's fight to keep its operating licence continues
Highlights Highlights
Content Content
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<h2>Latest</h2> <h2>Latest</h2>
On November 10, Uber <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-uber-britain/uber-loses-uk-appeal-bid-to-overturn-workers-rights-decision-idUKKBN1DA18U">lost an appeal against a ruling</a> that its drivers should be classed as workers rather than self-employed. On November 10, Uber <a href="https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-uber-britain/uber-loses-uk-appeal-bid-to-overturn-workers-rights-decision-idUKKBN1DA18U">lost an appeal against a ruling</a> that its drivers should be classed as workers rather than self-employed.
Last year, two drivers, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, won a London employment tribunal <a href="https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/aslam-and-farrar-v-uber-reasons-20161028.pdf">case which stated </a>their rights as employees entitled them to the minimum wage and sick pay. Last year, two drivers, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, won a London employment tribunal <a href="https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/aslam-and-farrar-v-uber-reasons-20161028.pdf">case which stated </a>their rights as employees entitled them to the minimum wage and sick pay.
Uber told the tribunal that 80 percent of its drivers class themselves as self-employed. Uber told the tribunal that 80 percent of its drivers class themselves as self-employed.
The <a href="https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5a046b06e5274a0ee5a1f171/Uber_B.V._and_Others_v_Mr_Y_Aslam_and_Others_UKEAT_0056_17_DA.pdf">tribunal found </a>that as Uber tells its drivers that when they are "on duty" they should be prepared to accept 80 percent of ride requests this time should be taken account of in their employment status. The <a href="https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5a046b06e5274a0ee5a1f171/Uber_B.V._and_Others_v_Mr_Y_Aslam_and_Others_UKEAT_0056_17_DA.pdf">tribunal found </a>that as Uber tells its drivers that when they are "on duty" they should be prepared to accept 80 percent of ride requests this time should be taken account of in their employment status.
Uber has not yet stated whether it will seek to take the appeal to a higher court. Uber has not yet stated whether it will seek to take the appeal to a higher court.
Issues related to employee rights were not directly included in TfL's <a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2017/09/22/technology/london-bans-uber/5343/">decision in September</a> not to renew Uber's operating licence, so the tribunal ruling will not affect the company's ongoing appeal against that decision. Issues related to employee rights were not directly included in TfL's <a href="https://www.wikitribune.com/story/2017/09/22/technology/london-bans-uber/5343/">decision in September</a> not to renew Uber's operating licence, so the tribunal ruling will not affect the company's ongoing appeal against that decision.
<h2>Corporate governance dispute</h2> <h2>Corporate governance dispute</h2>
On September 22, TfL said that it would not re-issue Uber with a private hire operator license due to the tech company's "lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications." On September 22, TfL said that it would not re-issue Uber with a private hire operator license due to the tech company's "lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications."
TfL took issue with Uber's approach to reporting criminal offences and obtaining medical certificates, how it carries out background checks, and the use of its “Greyball” software. TfL claims the software gives regulators a misleading impression regarding the number and location of Uber cars. TfL took issue with Uber's approach to reporting criminal offences and obtaining medical certificates, how it carries out background checks, and the use of its “Greyball” software. TfL claims the software gives regulators a misleading impression regarding the number and location of Uber cars.
Uber denies these accusations and claims that it uses Greyball to <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/03/technology/uber-greyball-program-evade-authorities.html">protect its drivers from dangerous riders</a>. Uber denies these accusations and claims that it uses Greyball to <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/03/technology/uber-greyball-program-evade-authorities.html">protect its drivers from dangerous riders</a>.
On September 25, Khosrowshahi released a letter apologising for Uber's "mistakes" and expressed his commitment to finding a solution alongside London officials. On September 25, Khosrowshahi released a letter apologising for Uber's "mistakes" and expressed his commitment to finding a solution alongside London officials.
https://twitter.com/dkhos/status/912327469432053760 https://twitter.com/dkhos/status/912327469432053760
Uber was dealt another blow on October 2 when its UK boss, Jo Bertram, quit after four years with the firm. Bertram said her decision was not connected to recent events but to new job opportunities. Uber was dealt another blow on October 2 when its UK boss, Jo Bertram, quit after four years with the firm. Bertram said her decision was not connected to recent events but to new job opportunities.
"I've decided to move on to something new and exciting,” <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41471292">she wrote in an email to staff</a>. "I've decided to move on to something new and exciting,” <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41471292">she wrote in an email to staff</a>.
Bertram oversaw Uber’s major expansion in London and was responsible for streamlining the licensing process and securing new permissions. Bertram oversaw Uber’s major expansion in London and was responsible for streamlining the licensing process and securing new permissions.
Khosrowshahi now has to look for a new UK boss while simultaneously fighting to retain Uber’s license in London. Khosrowshahi now has to look for a new UK boss while simultaneously fighting to retain Uber’s license in London.
The new CEO – who took over from Uber founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick in August – also has the difficult task of reforming a company facing several lawsuits and charges of sexism. The new CEO – who took over from Uber founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick in August – also has the difficult task of reforming a company facing several lawsuits and charges of sexism.
Transport for London (TfL) Commissioner Mike Brown and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi met on October 3 to discuss the future of the ride-hailing tech company in London. Transport for London (TfL) Commissioner Mike Brown and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi met on October 3 to discuss the future of the ride-hailing tech company in London.
<h2>The response</h2> <h2>The response</h2>
British Prime Minister Theresa May said she thought that banning Uber was "disproportionate" and that it endangers the jobs of 40,000 Uber drivers. British Prime Minister Theresa May said she thought that banning Uber was "disproportionate" and that it endangers the jobs of 40,000 Uber drivers.
Shopkeeper Marley Dominguez, a self-described frequent Uber user, said that while Uber should do more to comply with drivers' background checks, he also thought the ban was disproportionate. Shopkeeper Marley Dominguez, a self-described frequent Uber user, said that while Uber should do more to comply with drivers' background checks, he also thought the ban was disproportionate.
“I think the microscope is on [Uber] a lot more. They kinda reinvented the wheel so there’s a lot of questions about what they do," Dominguez, 37, told <em>WikiTribune</em>. "Any company of that size is inevitably going to have issues but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a bad company.” “I think the microscope is on [Uber] a lot more. They kinda reinvented the wheel so there’s a lot of questions about what they do," Dominguez, 37, told <em>WikiTribune</em>. "Any company of that size is inevitably going to have issues but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a bad company.”
The company's $69 billion valuation far outpaces its U.S. competitor Lyft and Chinese rival Didi Chuxing. Many have contested its valuation. Regardless, some 3.5 million people in London use Uber. The British capital is also the company's <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/9e315c30-a137-11e7-9e4f-7f5e6a7c98a2?mhq5j=e7">largest European market</a>. The company's $69 billion valuation far outpaces its U.S. competitor Lyft and Chinese rival Didi Chuxing. Many have contested its valuation. Regardless, some 3.5 million people in London use Uber. The British capital is also the company's <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/9e315c30-a137-11e7-9e4f-7f5e6a7c98a2?mhq5j=e7">largest European market</a>.
But a <a href="https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/5wvdf8tlb8/QueenMary_Results_LondonOmni_170928_1W.pdf">YouGov poll</a> found that Londoners largely supported TfL's decision to revoke Uber’s license despite the 800,000 people who signed a petition urging TfL to reconsider the ban. But a <a href="https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/5wvdf8tlb8/QueenMary_Results_LondonOmni_170928_1W.pdf">YouGov poll</a> found that Londoners largely supported TfL's decision to revoke Uber’s license despite the 800,000 people who signed a petition urging TfL to reconsider the ban.
London is not alone. Uber has <a style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem; font-weight: 400;" href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/sep/29/uber-clashes-with-regulators-in-cities-around-the-world">clashed with regulators in cities</a><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem; font-weight: 400;"> around the world. It pulled out of Austin, Texas, in 2016 after the city rejected its proposal to self-regulate its drivers. In April 2017, Uber pulled out of the Danish market after fare meters and seat occupancy sensors became obligatory for all taxi-service vehicles.</span> London is not alone. Uber has <a style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem; font-weight: 400;" href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/sep/29/uber-clashes-with-regulators-in-cities-around-the-world">clashed with regulators in cities</a><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem; font-weight: 400;"> around the world. It pulled out of Austin, Texas, in 2016 after the city rejected its proposal to self-regulate its drivers. In April 2017, Uber pulled out of the Danish market after fare meters and seat occupancy sensors became obligatory for all taxi-service vehicles.</span>
Recently, Uber said that it will suspend its operations in Quebec, Canada if the provincial government passes new legislation requiring Uber drivers to undergo criminal checks. Recently, Uber said that it will suspend its operations in Quebec, Canada if the provincial government passes new legislation requiring Uber drivers to undergo criminal checks.
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