Union calls on Uber to let the public know how their app stays on the right side of the law – people have a right to know.
GMB, the union for private hire and taxi drivers, working with the London Cab Drivers Club (LCDC) has organised a demonstration today (Monday 7 August) calling on Uber to provide greater transparency.
Around 20 London taxis will descend on Brighton city centre to challenge the workings of the ride-sharing app.
The demonstration will take place at 13:00 at Hove Town Hall, Norton Rd, Hove BN3 3BQ
The workings of Uber have been shrouded in mystery - with the San Francisco-based company refusing to fully reveal how it functions.
At a Trade Forum meeting last week, Mr Fred Jones of Uber would not discuss how the app functions.
Meanwhile reps from Streamline Taxis, City Cabs and Radio Cabs were fully willing to discuss their apps and booking systems.
Uber uses private hire cars (not Hackney Carriages) and such private hire cars are not allowed to be ‘hailed’ in the street. This is what the law states.
The Uber app connects the customer to the driver which is effectively a street hail.
Apps used by other cab companies in the city have do not use ‘direct hailing’ and any customer ordering via those apps have their bookings properly booked into their systems first and correctly recorded on their systems and only then dispatches the job to the nearest appropriate car.
Steve Garelick, GMB Private Hire Drivers' Branch, said:
“Taxis are descending on Brighton to call on Uber to reveal how their app works under the bonnet.
“The company seems to think they can carry on as they wish, without proving that they operate within the boundaries of the law.
“Only Hackney Carriages are allowed to ‘ply for hire’ on the street – but to all intents and purposes that is what the Uber app allows users to do.
“We call on Uber to let the public know how their app stays on the right side of the law – people have a right to know.”
Andrew Peters, Secretary of the GMB Brighton & Hove Taxi Section said:
“We have questioned the council and Uber on how the Uber app works but this remains a mystery and we are looking forward to what the Demo can do in calling to examine exactly how that app works and we welcome the support of the London Metropolitan Taxi Trade”
Grant Davies, London Cab Drivers Club, said:
"The fact that licensing officers are unable to use enforcement causes damage to local trade, as we have seen in London.
"This cannot go unchallenged."
Contact: Steve Garelick on 07565456776 or GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at firstname.lastname@example.org