Union calls Sheffield taxi drivers strike today in row with Uber

Sheffield taxi drivers called a strike in protest against the taxi operator Uber today over pay and dismissals.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 3:20 pm

The newly-formed App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU) was staging a 24-hour Uber drivers strike and a demonstration at their office on Concourse Way, near the bus station.

The union was asking drivers to not log on to the app today and asking passengers to support them by not crossing its digital picket line to book the service.

The strike was intended to run from midnight to midnight.

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Members of the ADCU union protest against Uber at their Concourse Way base in Sheffield during the 24 hour strike

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What is the Uber strike about?

There are three points of dispute which have led to the action. They are:

· Uber ‘failing to pay waiting time’ which makes up around 40 per cent of a driver’s working time.

· The introduction of fixed price fares and the abandonment of variable fares which were based on actual time and distance travelled, leading to reduced driver incomes and greater financial risk.

· Dismissals without right of appeal.

Uber meanwhile, has announced it will now pay pension contributions for drivers in the UK.

Mohammed Yasin, chairman of the Sheffield branch of the ADCU, said they want Uber to cut its commission from 25 per cent to 15 per cent.

He said: “We’re also asking them to pay the drivers their waiting time as per the supreme court ruling in February. They’re not paying us that the moment when they’re supposed to pay us as soon as we log on rather than when we get the job.

"Also, with some complaints, they’re deactivating the drivers app so they’re not able to work. Minimum, they’re losing a week’s work. Sometimes it takes a couple of months to resolve it. These are serious issues.

“They’re only at their office in Sheffield two days a week, but we’re a 24 hours service and customers can have a problem, drivers can have a problem. They should be manned here 24 hours a day.

"We’re not against Uber but we’re against them not abiding by the rules.”

Vice chairman Khurshid Ali said the message was loud and clear that drivers should not log on today.

He said there was a lot of support for the strike and people were taking action.

What does Uber say about the ADCU strike?

Uber said it announced in March that 70,000 drivers in the UK would be treated as workers, earning at least the National Living Wage when driving with them, paid for holiday time and those eligible would be enrolled into a pension plan.

In a statement they added: “Following the historic trade union recognition deal with GMB, drivers have an even stronger voice within Uber. We are working together with our trade union partner to raise standards for drivers through greater transparency and engagement. GMB represents drivers in areas such as earnings, deactivations and the implementation of new worker benefits, such as holiday pay and pensions.”

It added GMB would play a role representing drivers if they lose access to its app, and GMB representatives had access at Uber hubs to enable them to meet and support drivers.

Local journalism holds the powerful to account and gives people a voice. Please take out a digital subscription or buy a paper. Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor