Uber has changed its tune on minicab companies as part of an effort to overturn a court ruling that would force it to give drivers “worker benefits” such as annual leave.
Dominick Moxon-Tritsch, Uber’s former head of public policy, once described the minicab model as “brutally exploitative” when giving evidence to a panel in 2014 (see page 527).
He said that drivers for minicab companies are very low paid and have to work long hours to earn a suitable salary.
But barrister Dinah Rose QC, an award-winning lawyer hired by Uber, repeatedly told a judge in London this week that Uber’s model is similar to that of a minicab company.
“Uber London works in a way that is no different from the way many different minicab firms operate,” said Rose at an employment tribunal appeal on Wednesday.
Former Uber driver James Farrar, who brought about the legal case with fellow former Uber driver Yaseen Aslam, criticised Uber for now wanting to be like minicab companies.
“The entire minicab industry has been a festering source of labour abuse for decades,” Farrar told Business Insider. “Now Uber aspires to be just like the worst.”
Uber did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.