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Uber Not ‘Fit & Proper’ – Unite Writes To Local Government Association

Unite Calls on Councils to revoke Uber licences

Back in August Unite said that Uber’s London private hire licence should not be renewed amid the scandal of choosing which crimes to report the police.

In a damning letter obtained by the press from Inspector Neil Billany, the then head of the Metropolitan police’s taxi and private hire unit, Uber was accused of “deciding what crimes to report”, in an effort to protect its already dubious reputation.

In September and following strong and persistent lobbying by Unite and other unions, Transport for London (TfL) took the decision not to renew Uber’s London private hire operator licence.

The decision was fully supported by the Mayor of London – Sadiq Khan, who said:

“It would be wrong if TfL continued to licence Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners’ safety and security.”

Uber of course lodged an appeal at court and new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi asked to meet Transport for London with the intention of “putting things right”.

But even then Uber was hiding bad news from TfL. Uber had been concealing a mammoth data breachaffecting 57 million passengers and drivers worldwide with 2.7 million of those being in the UK. Worse still, Uber had actually paid off the hackers responsible to keep the story out of the public realm.

Enough is enough

The data breach is just the latest in a long line of scandals ranging from misogyny and sexual harassment at Uber’s US HQ to acquiring the medical records of a victim of driver rape victim in India to the current industrial espionage headlines.

In an article published on the Unite Live website last week (December 7), the Cab Section of Unite said that it was time that councils revoked Uber’s private hire operator’s licence on the grounds of not being fit and proper.

On Tuesday (December 12) BBC News reported that York City Council had revoked Uber’s private hire licence, citing the data breach as the principal reason for the revocation.

On Friday (December 15), Unite’s Passenger Transport head, Bobby Morton sent a letter to the Local Government Association, again arguing that Uber’s licence should be revoked on the grounds of not being ‘fit & proper’.

In the letter Morton argues:

The security breach is alarming enough in itself, but the fact that it seems it has been knowingly and recklessly concealed by Uber from licensing regulators is surely sufficient grounds for the immediate “Revocation” of their licences on the basis of dishonesty and withholding information!

Versions of Bobby Morton’s letter will also be sent to key authorities where Uber holds a private hire licence, these include: Wolverhampton, Brighton and Liverpool. Where local paper the Liverpool Echo is already reporting the possible demise of Uber in the city.

The full text of Bobby Morton’s letter can be read here.

Posted by Peter J Rose @peterjrose1

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