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GMB Tells Uber: 'Come Clean on Job Losses'

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Whichever way you cut it – Uber’s sums just don’t add up says GMB.

GMB, the union for private hire drivers, has called on Uber to come clean after their accounts appear to show they only employ a tiny proportion of the full time drivers they claim.

In a speech by Tim Roache, General Secretary of GMB, to the Labour party conference yesterday, he called for action not words in light of Uber’s public apology to Londoners.

Uber London accounts show that if they've got 40,000 drivers as they claim then they must be working an average of only three or four hours per week says GMB.

Uber have claimed that last year, drivers using their app made average fares of £15 per hour and were logged in for an average of 30 hours per week.

If 40,000 drivers in London were logged in for 30 hours a week that would mean they would have a turnover of £936m.

The accounts for Uber London Ltd for year ending 31 December 2015, the latest available, show a turnover of £23.3m.

During this accounting period, Uber gave around 80% of any fare to the driver and keep 20% - this was increased to 25% for Uber last year.

However, on the basis of a 20% retention - London Uber drivers did around £116.5m of business.

-        If, as Uber claim, a driver earns £15 per hour that equals 7.76m annual hours to be allocated to 40,000 drivers, 194 hours per year or 3.7 hours per week. If a driver earns an average of £15 per hour then on business of £116.5m that would equate to 3,730 full-time equivalent drivers.

-        If a driver earns the National Living Wage rate plus driver costs, like fuel and car expenditure, that equals 8.96m annual hours be allocated to 40,000 drivers, 224 hours per year or 4.3 per week. If a driver earns NLW plus driver costs then on business of £116.5m that would equate to 4,300 full-time equivalent drivers.

Whichever way you cut it – Uber’s sums just don’t add up.

GMB’s experience is that a small group of drivers are driving well in excess of 40 hours per week in order to make a liveable wage.

Uber’s claims that the TfL ban would lead to 40,000 job losses just do not bear scrutiny.

Whilst Uber’s CEO has publically apologised to London - Uber has a history of issuing apologies to cities that have taken bold decisions to halt their reckless behaviour in the treatment of workers and the public.

GMB calls for action not words and open and transparent dialogue with Uber about their future intentions and the numbers that underpin their accounts.

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said:

“It’s good to see Uber have finally apologised and admitted that they were wrong.

“We have asked Uber to change many times and to treat their workers as employees and to pay their taxes - like everyone else.

“Now they must match their words with deeds and protect drivers and ensure public safety.”

Maria Ludkin, GMB Legal Director, said:

“Yesterday, Uber’s CEO apologises to London.

“Tomorrow, Uber goes to court to deny that any of their drivers are workers.

“If Uber is serious about reforming their behaviour, the time has come to sit down and talk to GMB, talk to the Metropolitan police and talk to Transport for London.

“Let’s see how serious the apology is.”


Contact: Maria Ludkin on 07956 632657 or GMB Press Office on GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at

Previous press releases:

GMB Scores Historic Victory as TfL Tells Uber to 'Get Out of London’

Friday, September 22, 2017

Decision follows GMB’s legal victory over Uber, forcing company to defend their record on drivers' employment rights and public safety.

Read more:

GMB Wins Monumental Victory In Employment Case Of The Year Against Uber (28 October 2016)

Similar contracts masquerading as bogus self employment will all be reviewed says GMB

Read more:


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