In a landmark ruling, the Ams- terdam District Court has ordered Uber to reinstate six Uber drivers and pay compen- sation after they were unlawfully dismissed by algo- rithmic means. The case was brought by the App Drivers & Couriers Union together with Worker Info Exchange repre- senting five UK drivers and one Dutch driver. This is the first time a court has ordered the overturning of an automated decision to dismiss workers from employment. Separately, on Monday 12 April, the City of London Magistrates’ Court has ordered TfL to reinstate the licence of one of the drivers which was revoked after Uber routinely notified the transport regulator of the dismissal. A default judgment was entered in the Netherlands in favour of the drivers after Uber failed to contest the claim. However, Uber has failed to comply with the court order to reinstate the drivers and pay them compensation even though the time allowed to do so has expired. This case is believed to be the first case of its kind brought under Article 22 of the EU General Data Protection Regula- tion (GDPR) which provides rights of protection against unfair automated decision making. James Farrar, Director of Worker Info Exchange said: “For the Uber drivers robbed of their jobs and livelihoods this has been a dystopian nightmare come true. They were publicly accused of ‘fraudulent activity’ on the back of poorly gov- erned use of bad technology. This case is a wake-up call for lawmakers about the abuse of surveillance technology now proliferating in the gig economy. In the aftermath of the recent UK Supreme Court ruling on worker rights gig econ- omy platforms are hiding management control in algorithms. This is misclassification 2.0.” Yaseen Aslam, President of App Drivers & Couriers Union said: “I am deeply concerned about the complicit role Trans- port for London has played in this catastrophe. It has encouraged Uber to introduce surveillance technology as a price for keeping their operator’s licence and the result has been devastating for a TfL licensed workforce that is 94% BAME. The Mayor of London must step in and guarantee the rights and freedoms of Uber drivers licensed under his administration.” Abbas Nawrozzadeh of Eldwick Law representing one of the drivers in London for the successful licensing appeal this week said: “The ‘computer says no’ approach taken by Uber, and endorsed by TfL, is a harmful erosion of due process and


an unashamed testament to their priorities. We are happy to have a achieved a successful outcome in this appeal but remain concerned at the number of such cases still being pursued by TfL.”


A woman has told of her nightmarish Uber journey where her driver drove into a canal and charged her almost £30 for the ride. According to the Mirror, Emma Lavelle, 30, urged her Uber driver to stop when he veered towards the Bridge- water Canal. But the driver allegedly ignored her pleas and drove the car straight into the water in Salford, Greater Manchester. He later told police he had been following his satnav when disaster struck in the early hours of April 11, reported the Manchester Evening News. Emma, a transport manager from Salford, managed to clam- ber out of the vehicle and was told to walk the rest of the journey. But after making the 15 minute journey home, she realised she had still been charged for the £29.31 trip. She said: “I thought ‘what the hell has even happened? How has he not seen the canal in front of him?’ “He turned down the wrong street and I said ‘you shouldn’t be here. Don’t continue down that road, there’s a canal’. “He just carried on and I told him he was in the canal. He asked me if I could get out and thankfully, I could. He said ‘are you okay to walk home?’ It’s a 15-minute walk and not the nicest area to walk on your own.” Emma emailed Uber on Sunday informing them she was involved in an incident and had still been charged. She added: “They said they would investigate but no one came back to me. Then when it was on the news, I contacted them again with the article and they emailed to say they would give me a refund. He wasn’t going that fast. He was sort of going around 5mph, then all of a sudden the front of the car went into the canal.”

An Uber spokesperson said: “We are currently investigating this concerning report. The safety of our customers, drivers who use the Uber app and the general public is a top priority for Uber. All drivers who use the app are required to adhere to the Highway Code, and any dangerous driving can result in drivers being removed from the app.”

MAY 2021

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