Frank Field MP
Your MP for Birkenhead
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Uber drivers deserve to be treated far better

28 June 2017

The charge sheet against Travis Kalanick, and the Uber board as a whole, is a lengthy one (End of the road – Uber’s investors decide chief is liability after avalanche of claims, 22 June). There is, however, one major omission.

The rampant exploitation of Uber’s tens of thousands of drivers under Kalanick’s watch should be at the very top of that charge sheet. The fact that it hardly features is hugely concerning.

An employment tribunal found last year that Uber is wrongly depriving its drivers of basic protections such as the minimum wage, sick pay, and holiday pay – my own investigation found that some drivers take home as little as £4 an hour. Likewise, Transport for London has yet to grant Uber a full renewal of its licence, due to concerns around its operations. Now is the time to sweep away two of Uber’s most egregious aspects: the bullying culture at the top; and the poor treatment and poverty pay meted out to drivers at the bottom. The former is largely Uber’s responsibility. The latter, though, will require a bold intervention from government: the enforcement of a national minimum standard of decent work in the gig economy that guarantees drivers and couriers a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay.
Frank Field MP
Labour, Birkenhead


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