Uber has been hit with a $650 million class action lawsuit from London’s “black cab” drivers, who claim the company has acted “unlawfully.”
According to Business Insider, thirteen London black cab trade unions and representatives, including the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, “are coming together to pursue High Court action against Uber.”
“Put simply, the lawsuit aims to demonstrate how Uber’s arrival has directly led to a loss of earnings for London black cab drivers. The more drivers who join the action, the higher the loss of earnings,” Business Insider explained. “London Cabbie Group Action, which is coordinating the lawsuit, has worked with economists to estimate that it could stack up to £500 million in lost revenue over the past five years. A previous estimate put it at double this.”
In a statement, the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association’s general secretary Steve McNamara declared, “We recognise that there needs to be a level playing field between minicabs and licensed cabs on London streets but we believe Uber has operated unlawfully, resulting in a loss of earnings for many qualified licensed cab drivers.”
The company had to make several changes to their service and pay hundreds of thousands of pounds in fees to receive the license after Transport for London claimed last year that Uber was not “fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence,” in the city.
“I think we have had five years of a very difficult relationship where Uber has felt they haven’t required regulation and being operated in the same way as everybody else we regulate,” proclaimed Transport for London’s licensing, regulation, and charging director Helen Chapman.