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London taxi drivers draw up plan to sue Uber for up to £1.25bn over lost earnings

Members of the London Taxi Drivers' Association (LTDA) exploring legal action against ride-hailing firm

Ben Chapman
Tuesday 24 July 2018 13:01 BST
Protesters march against Uber in London

Thousands of London black cab drivers are drawing up plans to sue Uber for more than £1bn, claiming that the ride-hailing app has caused them to lose earnings.

Members of the London Taxi Drivers' Association (LTDA) are looking into legal action against Uber which will claim that each driver has lost at least £10,000 for the last five years because of the way the company has operated.

If the legal action goes ahead, the LTDA will argue that all 25,000 black cab drivers are due compensation, potentially handing Uber a £1.25bn bill.

The LTDA has been in discussions with law firm Mischon de Reya about bringing the claim.

In a statement, the LTDA said: “We’ve been approached by a number of members to help them explore whether there would be grounds for a potential class action on behalf of all taxi drivers against Uber.

"We are in the very early stages of obtaining legal advice from leading law firm Mishcon de Reya on whether this is a possibility.

"We’ll continue to do everything we can to support our members and taxi drivers across London by exploring every avenue to ensure they are treated fairly.”

The news comes after Uber won an appeal last month against a decision by TfL to revoke its licence to operate in London operation.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court found that the company is now “fit and proper” to hold the licence, and granted the firm’s appeal after it agreed to an audit.

Uber requested an 18-month licence but was granted a probationary 15-month licence as opposed to the five-year licence it previously sought.

European Union categorises Uber as a taxi company forcing strict regulations

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, had argued that Uber was not “a fit and proper” holder of such a licence, partly because of its approach to reporting serious criminal offences.

The privately-owned company has come under fire from a growing army of critics in the UK who claim that it unfairly skews competition and that it has not done enough to crack down on incidents of violence involving drivers.

Unions have also criticised the firm for how it treats drivers. In 2016 the London Employment Tribunal ruled that Uber drivers were workers, not self-employed contractors as the firm had claimed.

As such they are entitled to basic rights such as the National Living Wage.

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