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Title Title
Developing: Uber's future in London  Uber's future in London
Summary Summary
Uber called the meeting with TfL "constructive" but released a video that was poorly received on social media.  Uber called the meeting with TfL "constructive" but released a video that was poorly received on social media
Highlights Highlights
Content Content
<strong>WikiTribune is tracking this story. To collaborate with us, please go to EDIT or TALK on the top right of this page to make a change directly or to propose a change. </strong> <strong>WikiTribune is tracking this story. To collaborate with us, please go to EDIT or TALK on the top right of this page to make a change directly or to propose a change. </strong>
<strong>Transport for London (TfL) Commissioner Mike Brown and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi met on Tuesday to discuss the future of the ride-hailing tech company in London. </strong> <strong>Transport for London (TfL) Commissioner Mike Brown and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi met on Tuesday to discuss the future of the ride-hailing tech company in London. </strong>
<h2>Uber's latest moves</h2> <h2>Uber's latest moves</h2>
<em>4 October/</em>  Uber recently released a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/uberuki/videos/1084702794966359/">video</a> on its Facebook page to promote its campaign to remain in London. The video used a driver's personal story and was poorly received by the public. <em>4 October/</em>  Uber recently released a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/uberuki/videos/1084702794966359/">video</a> on its Facebook page to promote its campaign to remain in London. The video used a driver's personal story and was poorly received by the public.
"This is pretty low trying to guilt trip people into fighting for you. Maybe act within the law and show some corporate responsibility," said one comment on Uber's Facebook page. "This is pretty low trying to guilt trip people into fighting for you. Maybe act within the law and show some corporate responsibility," said one comment on Uber's Facebook page.
"Don't use your driver's [sic] stories to fight your cause," said another. "Don't use your driver's [sic] stories to fight your cause," said another.
In the video, a driver called Tim said he's been working for Uber for four weeks and that he needed the money to pay for therapy for his autistic son. In the video, a driver called Tim said he's been working for Uber for four weeks and that he needed the money to pay for therapy for his autistic son.
The video was released after Uber said its meeting with TfL was "constructive" and that more meetings will take place. The video was released after Uber said its meeting with TfL was "constructive" and that more meetings will take place.
<h2>Background</h2> <h2>Background</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 yesterday 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 yesterday 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.
<h2>The response</h2> <h2>The response</h2>
British Prime Minister Theresa May said she thought the ban was "disproportionate" and that it endangers the jobs of 40,000 Uber drivers. British Prime Minister Theresa May said she thought the ban 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.”
Uber insists that it's a technology platform that connects independent drivers to customers. But in 2016, a UK employment court ruled that its drivers <a style="font-family: inherit;font-size: 1.6rem;font-weight: 400" href="https://www.ft.com/content/8c604808-a205-11e7-9e4f-7f5e6a7c98a2?mhq5j=e7">aren’t self-employed and should be paid the “national living wage”</a><span style="font-family: inherit;font-size: 1.6rem;font-weight: 400">. Some drivers have pushed for better employment rights.</span>  Uber insists that it's a technology platform that connects independent drivers to customers. But in 2016, a UK employment court ruled that its drivers <a style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem; font-weight: 400;" href="https://www.ft.com/content/8c604808-a205-11e7-9e4f-7f5e6a7c98a2?mhq5j=e7">aren’t self-employed and should be paid the “national living wage”</a><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 1.6rem; font-weight: 400;">. Some drivers have pushed for better employment rights.</span>
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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