Union calls for Sheffield Council to give further reasons behind Uber decision


A union which represents taxi drivers has called for Sheffield Council to explain their concerns about Uber after the authority suspended the company's licence.

Sheffield Council said they suspended the private hire firm's licence after Uber 'failed to respond to requests from the local authority's licensing team about their management'.

The move comes after the ride-hailing firm previously lost its appeal against a ruling that its drivers should be classed as workers with minimum-wage rights

Lee Parkinson, GMB union organiser, has now called on the council to 'be transparent over the reasons for their concerns about Uber so the public and drivers can be fully informed.'

He also described the authority's decision as "yet another blow for Uber" and claimed the firm "has to change its ways and put the safety of its drivers and the public before profits."

Uber can still legally operate until December 18. In addition, if the firm appeals against the suspension, they can continue to operate until the case is heard.

Prior to this, October 2016 saw the Central London Employment Tribunal ruled that Uber drivers are not self-employed and are in fact entitled to basic workers’ rights including holiday pay, a guaranteed minimum wage and an entitlement to breaks.

In November this year, the Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld a ruling that Uber drivers should be classified as workers.

A Sheffield Council spokesman said that if Uber decides against appealing the suspension will come into force.

The company, however, said there had been an administrative error.

A spokesperson for Uber said the company had informed Sheffield Council on October 5 that they would need to change the name on the licence as the named individual would soon be leaving the company.

In a statement, they said: "The council told us they couldn’t change the name on the licence, as most other councils have done, and that we would instead have to apply for a new one.

“While we are in regular contact with the council, we did not receive the correspondence the council refers to as they sent the letters to an incorrect address.

"We hope this administrative error can be quickly resolved so we can continue serving tens of thousands of riders and drivers in Sheffield."

Sheffield Council has been asked about the GMB's comments and we are awaiting a reply.

Uber has not yet indicated if it will appeal against the decision.