Transport union wants Australian audit of Uber following London ban

Uber should be audited to ensure it is operating up to community standards, the Transport Workers Union secretary has said after the ride-sharing service was banned in London for not being “fit and proper”.

Transport for London (TfL) has deemed the Silicon Valley technology giant was not fit and proper to hold a private vehicle hire licence and its current agreement will not be renewed when it expires on 30 September.

The decision has prompted TWU boss Tony Sheldon to write to state and federal transport ministers asking for a national audit of Uber, which is currently being investigated by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The ombudsman is examining whether Uber drivers’ contracts breach federal workplace laws and the union also has concerns about the employment structure.

“We want Uber to continue operating in Australia, but only if it can meet community expectations about safety and fairness, both for drivers and consumers,” Sheldon said on Saturday.

“We are all for ride-sharing platforms, but they must not be built on poor safety, weak oversight and exploitation of drivers.”

Uber, whose 40,000 drivers in London account for a third of private vehicles hired, said it would contest the UK decision. It will be allowed to operate until the appeals process is exhausted.

The TWU wants food delivery services, which operate similarly to Uber, included in the audit.

An Uber spokesman said the company would continue working closely with regulators.

“Australian governments have led the way globally in embracing ride sharing as a positive for both consumer choice and local economic opportunity,” he said.

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