Court tells Uber to reinstate five UK drivers sacked by automated Uber process


Uber has been ordered to reinstate five UK drivers who have been banned from its robot technology ridesharing app.

The five drivers, supported by the Drivers & Couriers Union (ADCU) App and the Worker Info Exchange campaign group, argued that they had been falsely accused of fraudulent activity based on misinformation from the technology of ‘Uber, and that the company had failed to provide the drivers with appropriate evidence to support the claims.

In a judgment released on Wednesday, the district court in Amsterdam – where Uber’s European headquarters are located – said the remote assistance app should reinstate the five British drivers and one Dutch driver, as the rulings were ” based solely on automated processing, including profiling ”. The judgment was rendered by default because Uber did not attend the hearing; the company said it was not aware of the lawsuit until last week.

The court said Uber would have to pay a fine of € 5,000 (£ 4,300) for each day of failure to comply with the drivers’ reinstatement order, which was issued in February, up to a maximum of € 50,000, as well as €. 100,474 in damages.

Abdifatah Abdalla, one of the drivers who worked in London, said he started driving for Uber in 2014 and made more than 7,000 trips for the company before being summarily fired in September.

He says he received a message informing him that he was being kicked out of the Uber app due to “security issues related to account sharing.” Although he says no evidence has been provided, he has been told that “the decision is final,” according to messages seen by ITV News.

A glass and steel building with a large overhang above the ground floor and the Uber logo in its corner
Uber Headquarters in California: The company said it will seek the dismissal of the judgment. Photographie: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Another driver, who did not wish to be named, told the Guardian he was fired last year after the app discovered people had tried to log into the app using his account for two years. different parts of London at the same time. He also lost his private rental license after working for Uber for seven years and hasn’t worked since. “I was very confused. I haven’t shared my details. They didn’t say anything [about how they had come to conclusion he had shared his Uber sign-on]. They just close your account. “

Due to his dismissal by Uber, Abdalla lost his private rental license from Transport for London (TfL) in October and was therefore unable to drive for two other applications he worked for – Kapten and Bolt.

TfL said Uber told him Abdalla was removed from the app because two devices were used to attempt to access his account within minutes of each other, from two locations different that were at a significant distance from each other. He said this suggested that someone other than Abdalla had attempted to use his account.

Abdalla says he had no idea how Uber could have discovered that someone had attempted to access their account from a separate location and insists they did not share its details. “It was a horrible situation. Had to work as a delivery guy, but it’s not as well paid and they only call you when they’re busy.

On Monday this week, the City of London Magistrates’ Court ordered TfL to reinstate its private rental license.

James Farrar, director of Worker Info Exchange, said: “For Uber drivers deprived of their jobs and livelihoods, it’s a dystopian nightmare come true. They have been publicly accused of “fraudulent activity” as a result of poorly governed use of bad technology. This case is a wake-up call to lawmakers about the abuse of surveillance technology now proliferating in the odd-job economy. He claimed that on-demand economics groups “hid management control in algorithms.”

Uber said it is seeking to overturn the Amsterdam court judgment because it only learned of the case last week and the correct procedure was not followed.

A spokesperson for Uber said: “Uber only learned about this default judgment last week because ADCU officials did not follow the proper legal process. Without knowledge of the case, the court rendered a default judgment in our absence, which was automatic and not taken into account. “

A spokesperson for TfL said: “The safety of the traveling public is our top priority and when we are made aware of cases of driver identity fraud, we take immediate licensing action to ensure passenger safety is not is not compromised. We still need the evidence behind an operator’s decision to fire a driver and to review it along with any other relevant information as part of any decision to revoke a license. All drivers have the right to appeal the decision to withdraw a license to the court of first instance. “


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