Uber is a taxi service: European Union court

22 December, 2017, 01:29 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Uber is a taxi service: European Union court

The European Court of Justice (ECJ)ruled yesterday (20 December) that Uber is a transport company for the objective of employing drivers, as opposed to the "information society service" it had claimed - a decision that may make its appeal against a United Kingdom ruling that its drivers are workers less likely to succeed.

The classification of being a technology company instead of a transport service had helped protect the billion dollar start-up from national regulations concerning the transport sector.

The decision stems from a complaint by a Barcelona taxi drivers association, which wanted to prevent Uber from setting up in the Spanish city.

On the decision ruled by ECJ, Uber said that the verdict would affect a little only to the way it operated in Europe, though experts think otherwise.

The ruling from Europe's highest court found that Uber "must be regarded as being inherently linked to a transport service and, accordingly, must be classified as "a service in the field of transport". And Uber was just dealt a massive blow in Europe, where a court ruled the company has to abide by cab regulations.

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London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that while he wanted London to be the home of innovation and new technology, Uber simply were not "operating by the rules set down by Parliament".

Uber said in a statement that the ruling "will not change things in most European Union countries where we already operate under transportation law" and that it will "continue the dialogue with cities across Europe" to allow access to its services. Furthermore, without the mobile app, the "persons who wish to make an urban journey would not use the services provided by those drivers".

The court noted that the service provided by Uber is more than an intermediation service and also that Uber exercises decisive influence over the conditions under which the drivers provide their service.

It's well-known that some Uber drivers work dangerously long shifts, but a new letter from the company offers some additional insight into how many seem to be plowing through most of their week behind the wheel.

Commenting on the ruling, Trades Union Congress general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Uber must get its house in order and play by the same rules as everybody else".

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Uber and Elite didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Many other countries are facing similar battles. "Their drivers are not commodities".

Traditional taxi firms, who have fallen into difficulties since the rapid expansion of Uber and Grab in Viet Nam in recent years, called for equality in management.

Harford has worked for and competed with Khosrowshahi, 48, in the online travel business. They deserve at the very least the minimum wage and holiday pay.

Uber has had a roller-coaster year that also included the ouster of its CEO, sexual harassment allegations and the revelation that it covered up a massive breach of customers' data.

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