Thousands Of Taxi Drivers In U.S. And U.K. Protest Uber
Above Photo: Black cabs fill the streets around Trafalgar Square in central London. Andy Rain/EPA
Note: Uber and Lyft are American corporations that hire drivers as independent contractors as opposed to employees. It is A a new type of industry that falls out of the regulation that oversees taxi and limo service industries. It is a trend that is being seen across many industries where under the guise of using mobile applications and online interaction to develop more ‘personable transactions’ is allowing corporations to pop up and develop operations that fall out of regulated industries. This has the consequence of affecting the way workers are able to protect their benefits and their salary. If there is no institution or agency that is overseeing and mediating the interactions between workers and their places of hire workers are left to fend for themselves. Over the last
Over the last year taxi workers in different countries around the world have been protesting against the operations of these growing companies.
The concept of Uber and Lyft would be a transformative one if it was a cooperative model where all workers who become part of its structure could benefit equally from the profits being made by it. Instead you have some astute capitalists from America who retooled an old idea. Now, their business model is to demand drivers and passengers from different parts of the world to pay up a percentage from a transaction we could be managing on our own.
Black-Cab Drivers’ Uber Protest Brings London Traffic To A Standstill
Organisers say about 8,000 drivers took part to highlight threat to their trade from TfL’s licensing of taxi-hailing app
Taxi drivers brought central London to a standstill to highlight the threats to their trade from Uber and changing regulation.
Organisers said about 8,000 drivers took part in the protest on Wednesday afternoon, as traditional black cabs blocked lanes the length of Whitehall and halted much traffic around Westminster and the West End.
Black-cab drivers have been incensed by the actions of Transport for London (TfL) in licensing Uber, blurring the lines between traditional taxis and private hire.
Unite, the union that represents many black-cab drivers, claims the government is biased against their trade and claims light-touch regulation will threaten passenger safety as well as drivers’ incomes. The protesters aimed their anger at both TfL and the government. A 47-year old taxi driver from Kent, who would only give his name as Jon, said: “We’re not worried about competition: we’ve had minicabs and Addison Lee for years. Why has this American company come here and been given free rein? I spent three years doing the knowledge at a cost of £6,000-10,000, and bought a £40,000 cab that’s wheelchair accessible.” Another driver, Alice Cudlip, in traffic at Trafalgar Square, said the protest was about more than the taxi trade: “Across London, smaller businesses are being taken away, everything’s becoming
Another driver, Alice Cudlip, in traffic at Trafalgar Square, said the protest was about more than the taxi trade: “Across London, smaller businesses are being taken away, everything’s becoming more bland. The taxi trade which has soul and tradition is being removed and that really makes me angry. Ultimately the government is bowing down to companies like Uber, who push them around and don’t pay tax – they pay as much as four taxi drivers.” Uber said the action had been driven by taxi drivers having their “bureaucratic” demands rejected after a recent consultation. Tom Elvidge, the general manager of Uber in London, said: “This protest was sparked when Transport for London dropped plans for bureaucratic new rules on licensed private hire drivers, such as five-minute minimum waiting times. But Londoners made clear they didn’t want to be slowed down, with more than 200,000 opposing those proposals.” On Tuesday, Uber announced its app would allow customers to book black cabs on zero commission for a year, in what it claimed was an olive branch to taxi drivers. The Met police said the action finished peacefully around
Uber said the action had been driven by taxi drivers having their “bureaucratic” demands rejected after a recent consultation. Tom Elvidge, the general manager of Uber in London, said: “This protest was sparked when Transport for London dropped plans for bureaucratic new rules on licensed private hire drivers, such as five-minute minimum waiting times. But Londoners made clear they didn’t want to be slowed down, with more than 200,000 opposing those proposals.” On Tuesday, Uber announced its app would allow customers to book black cabs on zero commission for a year, in what it claimed was an olive branch to taxi drivers. The Met police said the action finished peacefully around
On Tuesday, Uber announced its app would allow customers to book black cabs on zero commission for a year, in what it claimed was an olive branch to taxi drivers. The Met police said the action finished peacefully around
The Met police said the action finished peacefully around 4pm with no arrests, and did not confirm the numbers involved.
Philadelphia Taxi, Limo Drivers Protest Uber X, Lyft In Center City
— Eric Rivera (@elriveralives) February 11, 2016
Approximately 1,000 drivers began protesting just after noon Thursday around City Hall, honking their car horns and blocking traffic.
Traffic was a standstill around City Hall as protesters demanded to have a chance to speak with Mayor Jim Kenney.
A member of the mayor’s team did come out to speak with protesters and told them “we understand your concerns.” Mayor Kenney gave his thoughts on the issue, as well.
Mayor Kenney gave his thoughts on the issue, as well.
“Certainly people have a right to express their views and they’re concerned about their economics and how the competition is affecting it and how the Parking Authority is approaching both Uber or Uber X. There’s a whole slew of things that are going on that we need to sift through, some of them we don’t control,”
Uber issued the following statement Thursday afternoon:
Philadelphia has shown tremendous demand for more affordable options like UberX, and the Mayor as well as the City Council have expressed their support for ridesharing. At the same time, the taxi industry has resisted competition and innovation at every turn, even going so far as working with the PPA to make sure Philadelphia is excluded from the regulations that currently govern uberX in 66 out of 67 counties in Pennsylvania.
By partnering with paratransit services, Uber has helped make accessible transit work in Philadelphia. Riders with disabilities can get a ride in minutes through Uber, while they’re often left stranded by taxi services. Although we are always looking for new ways to better serve all individuals who are disabled, Uber has in fact been praised by the author of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for increasing the mobility and freedom of drivers and riders with disabilities.
Back in December 2015, seen in videos below, protesters with the Taxi Workers Alliance and the Philadelphia Limo Association lined the streets for a similar protest.
The protesters wanted to shut down Uber X and Lyft drivers who they said were operating illegally in the city.
One of those taxi drivers, Jamal Brown, in December’s protest said, “We can’t advertise in our taxi to make a couple extra dollars. We can’t do a lot of things in our taxis to increase our earnings because of the Parking Authority’s regulation. Meanwhile, they’re not regulating Uber and Uber X and Lyft.”
Taxi drivers and Uber Black limo drivers, who are in compliance with city regulations, say if they have to follow the rules, so should everyone else.
At the time, Ali Razak from the Philadelphia Limo Association said, “There’s 12,000 illegal drivers. There’s numerous crimes happening every day. Everybody’s aware of that, but everybody wants to point their finger and say ‘Oh, I don’t know anything about it.’ Somebody needs to take responsibility.”
The protesters said they felt ignored and overlooked by the city. They want to see the Philadelphia Parking Authority do more, but admit it would be difficult.
Ronald Blount, the president of the Taxi Workers Alliance of Philadelphia, told Action News in December, “The Philadelphia Parking Authority, they’ve done the best they can. They only have eight enforcement inspectors going against thousands of illegal Uber X in the city. So, they need help.”
In regards to December’s protest, a spokesperson for Uber released the following statement:
“Many taxi and limousine drivers are understandably frustrated because the Philadelphia Parking Authority’s outdated rules make it harder to earn a living when the public has shown they want more affordable options. Each year, the PPA requires limousine drivers to pay $404 per vehicle for a PPA sticker and $130 for their chauffeur’s permit to be renewed. They also subject drivers to obsolete vehicle restrictions and onerous insurance requirements. We believe statewide reform of the PPA that allows for regulated ridesharing will benefit both riders and drivers.”