Uber drivers will be demonstrating outside Leeds Town Hall on Friday March 18 between 4pm and 6pm to highlight to the City Council licensing authorities the grave impact of recent fare cuts.
Uber recently cut fares by up to 17% resulting in a reduction in driver take home pay by as much as 40%. These cuts come on top of a significant increase in area licensing and the reduction in the number of operators as Uber begins to capture the entire market. The result is drivers have to work much longer hours for much less money. Drivers are working excessive and unsafe hours – as much as 90 hours per week – and earning £5 per hour or less. Besides the obvious violation of basic worker rights, these working conditions pose a significant threat to the travelling public.
James Farrar Co Founder of UPHD said:
‘No fair minded person can condone working conditions little better than rolling sweat shops in 2016 Leeds. Certainly, we should not expect an elected city council to preside over such an exploitative system.’
Councillor Mary Harland, Chair of the Leeds City Council Licensing Committee and John Mulcahy, Head of Elections, Licensing and Registration have agreed to meet a delegation from UPHD representing drivers to hear their concerns.
Protesting drivers intend to raise key questions to the Council including
Should a firm that fails to guarantee compensation to drivers of at least the national minimum wage equivalent, pays VAT on UK business in the Netherlands and contracts Leeds drivers from the Netherlands be assessed as ‘Fit and Proper’ for an operator’s license in Leeds under the law?
· Does the Council appreciate the safety implications of drivers having to work increasingly excessive hours due to declining pay at Uber?
· Why has the Council allowed Uber to operate without a 24 hour manned office in the City per the regulatory requirements?
· Why has neither the City nor Uber provided suitable infrastructure for Uber’s growing operation in the City including parking areas so to avoid congestion and suitable rest and comfort facilities?
Nadeem Iqbal, UPHD West Yorkshire Organiser said:
‘Leeds drivers are crying out for the City authorities to step into what has become an increasingly out of control, unsafe and unfair licensing regime. Every day I meet drivers now facing debt and despair as they struggle to keep up with their fixed costs while their incomes fall due to falling fares and a flood of new drivers who Uber have promised riches to.’
Yaseen Aslam Co Founder of UPHD said:
‘Throughout the country we are seeing the same story unfold with Uber. Local operators are driven to the wall while Uber force all responsibility and cost onto drivers while it retains the profits while bearing no risk. We welcome the technological innovation Uber brings to the market but exploitation of people does not have to be the price we all pay for progress.’
James Farrar – 07530 319206
Yaseen Aslam – 07894 528992
Nadeem Iqbal – 07716 552700