https://telgroup.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/cosyvehicleimage15.png?w=1000&h=288&crop=1 mine was black, much classier 🙂
I use Uber whenever I need a taxi at 60% of the black cab rate and have travelled in some really beautiful cars, the last one was a £5 ride in a BMW 5 series (honest) from hospital to home. I felt like asking the driver to silently take me to Ilford and back just for the sheer joy of it.
Now two Uber drivers (activist plants if ever I saw any) have won an employment tribunal case against the San Francisco company that will award the status of ’employee’ to all their UK drivers.
This means they will no longer be considered self-employed and will be entitled (how I hate that word) to sickness and maternity benefits, PAYE, paid holidays and God only knows what other expensive benefits.
Left wingers are cock-a-hoop of course because it means all these drivers will now be regulated, many of them out of business. Fares will go up, demand will fall and unemployment will result. Another important freedom, that of choice, both for driver and client, will have been extinguished to the great glee of the liberal left and most politicians.
All my own working life in the UK has been as a self-employed contract draughtsman where I was paid relatively high wages and forsook all job security and all the benefits of permanent employment for the ability to take out a mortgage and pay it all off in seven years! But, prior to that and somewhere around the beginning of the eighties creeping regulation such as the Uber drivers are currently suffering began.
From then until my retirement at the end of the millennium it was a relentless battle to avoid all the benefits enjoyed by permanent staff, the greatest being the imposition of PAYE. Gradually hourly rates began to decline due to the huge costs of treating us as permanent and it became more and more difficult to seamlessly transfer from one contract to the next. I escaped most of that by becoming a sole trader with my own company, but the writing on the wall was writ large and, not being a monkey, I was unwilling to work for peanuts so I ceased work a little earlier that I had anticipated.
This is now the bleak future for all those Uber drivers with BMWs and, more probably Mazda 6s and Honda Accords, all infinitely preferable to any black cab.
I hope, and not only for selfish reasons, Uber’s appeal will be successful. They are a formidable enemy of the regulators, with pockets far deeper even than our Ministry of Defence so I am optimistic.