Join us – tell Sadiq Khan to take action against Uber!

Foxglove has teamed up with James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, two former Uber drivers in London, who have been battling for years to force the company to treat its drivers properly.

We have supported the App Drivers and Couriers Union to send a legal letter to Transport for London seeking enforcement of a key provision of James and Yaseen’s Supreme Court win. Once enforced by TfL, it will mean all app drivers – of whom there are an estimated 60,000 in London alone – have their right to minimum wage and holiday pay protected by the regulator by default.

The crucial paragraph of the judgment in Uber & ors v Aslam & ors, paragraph 47, states that private hire apps such as Uber violate transport regulation if they maintain the legal fiction that they form no contract to carry the passenger.

These contractual arrangements have been rejected by the courts as a “mischief” designed for the purpose of cheating drivers out of their legal rights. The court also said that such arrangements were not legally available to Uber under the regulatory regime supervised by TfL.

This legal fiction has been a crucial part of the private hire app business model. It has enabled firms like Uber to not only deny their drivers worker rights but also transfer to precarious workers an unfair share of the regulatory and operational risk.

The impact of the Supreme Court’s judgment extends well beyond Uber. Virtually every private hire app – Uber, but also Ola, FreeNow, Bolt, and others – has operated the same legal fiction.

TfL have two weeks to reply to our letter.

You can bet that over the next two weeks, Uber’s army of lobbyists will be doing all they can to put pressure on Sadiq Khan and TfL. Every signature on the petition helps outweigh Uber’s lobbying and prove that the public believe that TfL should get tough with Uber.

This isn’t just about London or even just about Uber – it’s about ensuring that huge global tech platforms aren’t allowed to exploit their workforce or pretend that hard-won employment laws don’t apply to them. If we succeed in London, against Uber, it will send ripples across the UK.

If TfL makes the wrong decision, Foxglove will support James and Yaseen to take them to court. We think we will win eventually.

But going to court takes time – and every month’s delay means another month where drivers don’t get holiday pay or the minimum wage. It’s far better to persuade TfL to do the right thing without another court case.