Fears of taxi fare price hike amid petrol crisis: Free Now cab firm reports 20% surge in demand as Uber driver warns rides will be ‘very expensive’ because of lack of cabs… with even fewer on road tomorrow due to strike action
- Panic at the pumps has hit Britain with queues stretching from most garages
- It is feared the scarcity of fuel could lead to fares for taxis increasing
- To make matters worse, Uber drivers are on strike tomorrow over pay
Taxi passengers are bracing themselves for a financial hit as the petrol crisis saw demand soar amid warnings of expensive fares.
The Free Now cab company said they had been deluged by customers over the weekend, while the fuel chaos continued.
And it came as one Uber worker warned prices could be high as it was difficult to get petrol to power the cars.
Driver Tommy Hopper said online: ‘I’m an Uber driver and unable to work because I can’t get petrol,
‘Ubers will be very expensive this morning due to the lack of drivers.
‘A lot of our cars are hybrid but they still need petrol, the petrol engine charges the battery.’
Taxi drivers protest against fuel price costs in Liverpool city centre earlier this month
Cars queue at a Tesco garage in Frien Barnet in London today as the fuel carnage continued
Uber driver Tommy Hopper said the scarcity of fuel was stopping him being able to work
A Free Now spokesperson said there had been an uptick in people wanting cars.
They added: ‘Over the last weekend the FREE NOW ride-hailing app has seen a 20% increase in demand for taxi rides.’
To make matters worse some Uber driver are staging a strike on Tuesday over issues including pay and claims that workers are being unfairly dismissed.
Members of the App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU) will hold protests in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow, and are urging people not to use the service during the 24-hour walkout.
The union has accused the company of failing to implement a court ruling to pay waiting time, which it says makes up around 40% of an Uber driver’s working time, and claims that large numbers of drivers are being unfairly sacked.
Out of use signs are displayed on fuel pumps in a Shell garage in Muswell Hill in London today
Cars refueling at a BP service station in Wetherby near Leeds, after long waits for fuel again today
Tesco staff directing the queues during a rain storm on Monday morning at the petrol station in Ely, Cambridgeshire,
Uber insisted it is working with unions to raise standards for drivers.
The union is also in dispute over the introduction of fixed price fares which it claims has led to reduced driver incomes.
Yaseen Aslam, ADCU president said: ‘It is shameful that Uber continues to defy the highest court in the land to cheat 70,000 workers out of pay for 40% of their true working time.
‘The drivers know they deserve and are legally entitled to much more than Uber is offering.
‘This strike is just the beginning and there will be much more unrest until Uber does the right thing and pays drivers all that they are owed, both pension contributions and working time.’
General secretary James Farrar added: ‘Uber has continued to intensify its use of junk surveillance tech and algorithmic management control to maximise profits.
‘The results have been catastrophic, with hundreds of people unfairly dismissed and accused of unspecified ‘fraudulent activity’.
‘Instead of trying to gag unions from exposing the flaws in their tech, Uber should instead guarantee all drivers protection from unfair dismissal and the right to access a proper, human-led appeals process.’
An Uber spokesperson said: ‘Following the historic trade union recognition deal with GMB, drivers have an even stronger voice within Uber.
‘We are working together with our trade union partner to raise standards for drivers through greater transparency and engagement.
‘GMB represents drivers in areas such as earnings, deactivations and the implementation of new worker benefits, such as holiday pay and pensions.’
Uber formally recognised the GMB earlier this year, saying the union could represent up to 70,000 Uber drivers across the UK.
Uber announced in March that 70,000 drivers will be treated as workers, earning at least the National Living Wage, with paid-for holiday time. Those eligible will be automatically enrolled into a pension plan.
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