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Bronwen Handyside speaks out on the relicensing of UBER

TUC representative on the TfL Board, Bronwen Handyside Speaks out against the relicensing of UBER.

At a recent TfL Board meeting held at City Hall soon after the Uber licence appeal court decision, TUC representative on TfL Board, Bronwen Handyside made Trade Union’s feelings clear on the Judge’s recommendation of issuing Uber with fifteen month probationary licence.

Protesting the relicensing of Uber

What Bronwen said at the TFL Board meeting, held 25/07/18:

While thousands of black cab and private hire vehicle drivers are trying to earn a living for themselves and their families, we are asking them not only:

To sell their old vehicles and buy hugely expensive zero emission capable taxis, costing around £65k

To rely on TFL supplying enough rapid charge points so they can recharge a couple of times each working day

But we are also asking them to put up with the likes of Uber muscling in on their trade.

I must say that I am extremely disappointed in the Magistrate’s decision to grant Uber ‘s appeal and give them a further 15 month licence.

This is a company that:

Continues to exploit cross-border hiring – meaning that thousands of vehicles licenced in London are operating outside of London where London regulations can’t be enforced.

Whose business model is designed to avoid paying tax in the UK

That has tried to evade TFL regulations since it arrived in London

This in my opinion continues to make Uber not a fit and proper person to operate a service.

Most crucially, as far as I am concerned, the fact that Uber continues to cynically deny drivers their rights as workers, and tries to smooth that over with an inadequate insurance scheme is the final proof that they are not a fit and proper organisation – whether or not TFL has the right to regulate that aspect of their business.

TFL must strictly monitor Uber’s activities over the coming months without the illusion that it has abandoned its aim of making maximum profit and now cares about the travelling public.

It is blindingly obvious that if it cared one iota about the travelling public it would care about its drivers.


Bronwen’s TfL biography

Bronwen Handyside has been active in London’s trade union movement for over 30 years. She is Vice-Chair of Unite the union’s London & Eastern region (representing 300,000 members from 20 different sectors and including 75,000 workers in and around London within all modes of transport). She is also Chair of Unite’s London Area Activist Committee (which covers members from all industrial sectors across London as well as its retired and Community members).

Bronwen has been active on Unite’s Regional Women’s Committee for nine years. She was Chair and then Secretary of Unite’s Central London Voluntary Sector branch for 15 years. She worked in the voluntary sector for 25 years and is currently employed by the Islington Pensioners’ Forum. She has been active in the campaign to defend the NHS with Keep Our NHS Public since 2005. Bronwen has used public transport to travel in and around London throughout that time.

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