Monday, 16 July 2018

IT’S WIN LOSE OR DRAW FOR THE TRADE BUT NOT FOR THE LTDA. THEY’RE FIGHTING THEIR OWN FIGHT, WHICH HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH US!...by Sean Paul Day

Everyone should be outraged at the  statement released by The LTDA that  they gave evidence to the Met in relation to claims that ex-Uber General Manager Jo Bertram “misled” the High Court. 

The action taken by The LTDA isn’t merely passivity, but an orchestrated attempt to appear active in their pursuance to bring Uber (or whoever) to book. The reality being, it is yet another postural, but meaningless exhibition that’ll have no bearing on how the company operates, and no consequences for the actual act of perjury which allowed them to retain their licence. 

Let us be under no illusion, the interview with the Met conducted in front of the LTDA’s legal team- which I take to mean Demidecki- is not dissimilar to other demonstrable- yet disingenuous -attempts to satiate the LTDA’s TAXI readership. A tactic used to coerce readers into thinking that the association is at the coal face of the action, whilst at the same time costing The LTDA nothing. 

The reality is this, the legal route offers only two effective options, the first is to serve litigation papers against Uber for obtaining their licence by deceptive means. Most underestimate the enormity of this. In respect of the company’s relationship to the driver, Uber acts as either the principle or the agent (to be determined at the employment tribunal appeal) and there  are 40000+ of them. A licence obtained by fraudulent means would render it null and void meaning  journeys undertaken by its drivers are illegal. As far as Insurance payouts go, you could say, they were compromised somewhat? It beggars belief, that the LTDA have not yet started proceedings. 

The second option, is to file a lawsuit against TfL for breaking a long standing trade agreement by creating a‘corporate structure’ that allowed Uber’s operation to infract heavily on the working practices and earning potential of licensed taxi drivers. embedded in the system allowing its drivers to work on the ‘on demand’ market even though the driver does not meet 'Required Standard' criterion and the vehicle does 'Conditions of Fitness' opposed to bookings that have been accepted by Uber 

Certainly, under the previous administration, TfL decidedly went against the true meaning of the law as laid out in the 1998 PH Regulations to assist Uber’s smooth incorporation into the market. TfL would have known the contravention existed and that Uber’s modus operandi was in transgression of it. The consequences here are huge, as it would mean TfL was party to the perjury in the HC (Remember, this was a case brought by TfL seeking a HC ruling on what constituted a meter only) The crux here is, TfL claim to have been hoodwinked by Uber. Yeh, right! 

Everyone should recognise that this is win, lose, or draw for the trade, and what the trade needs - and deserves - is drastically improved representation from The LTDA. The above options are the only effective avenues the trade should be concerned with. Furthermore, there should be zero  tolerance for the tired old distractions that have served as a disincentive to their readership in the past. Will the trade get the representation it deserves? Well, members who have been pushing for it tirelessly for two years have just had their branch suspended, pending an investigation into intimidation tactics being used in the run up to the Branch Elections. Another distraction away from what the LTDA should be doing,  Stalling for time is preferable as effective action could work out quite costly. But surely it’s the members money, and The LTDA should be doing right by them. 

Our fight is with the LTDA until they themselves finally decide to take up the fight. The old coppers club moaning to the Met about Jo Bertram ain’t gonna cut it with me, that’s for sure!




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