Hearing tomorrow on GMB Members Unfair dismissal claim against Addison Lee
Hearing tomorrow at central London employment tribunal on GMB members claims against Addison Lee over unfair dismissal.
Any attempt to classify the drivers as self employed will simply not wash with the Employment Tribunal says GMB.
The preliminary hearing of the claim for 3 GMB members driving for Addison Lee takes place tomorrow, Wednesday 25 January at 10am at the Central London Employment Tribunal.
The three Addison Lee drivers had their contracts terminated following a GMB protest in Berkeley Square on Tuesday 24 May 2016. [see notes to editors for copy of previous GMB press release]
The dismissals took place within hours of a static protest in May that saw private hire drivers block off Berkeley Square in London. GMB members were protesting against an increase in commission levels from Addison Lee and changes to terms and conditions for drivers.
Gary Pearce, GMB regional officer, said "Any attempt to classify the drivers as self employed will simply not wash with the Employment Tribunal. Everything points to the drivers being employees and no doubt will result in yet another decision exposing bogus self employment practices by employers in the Private Hire industry.
“GMB will not allow Addison Lee to go unpunished for dismissing drivers whose only crime was to legitimately bring their plight to the attention of the public and the parent company of Addison Lee, The Carlyle Group. Just prior to the dismissals GMB had raised a number of concerns with Addison Lee including increased commission, fixed rate insurance and reduced fares."
Contact: Gary Pearce on 07850 036952
Notes to editors:
1 GMB Press release 30 August 2016
GMB Takes First Step To Launch Legal Proceedings Against Addison Lee For Unfair Dismissal Of Union Activists
By targeting staff seeking a fair deal, Addison Lee aims to bully others into silence says GMB
GMB, Britain’s general union, has instructed law firm Leigh Day to take the first step in launching legal proceedings on behalf of three Addison Lee workers whose contracts were terminated following a GMB protest in Berkeley Square in May (Tuesday 24 May 2016).
GMB lawyers have lodged a number of claims with arbitration body ACAS including unfair dismissal, detriment on grounds related to trade union activity and failure to pay the national minimum wage.
The dismissals took place within hours of a static protest in May that saw private hire drivers block off Berkeley Square in London. GMB members, along with members of the United Addison Lee Drivers (UALD), were protesting against an increase in commission levels from Addison Lee and changes to terms and conditions for drivers.
Gary Pearce, GMB regional officer, said “Addison Lee has been caught red handed, unfairly targeting and punishing private hire drivers simply for seeking to protect their rights at work. By victimising those who simply want a fair deal and to prevent exploitation, the company is seeking to bully its remaining workers into silence.
"Addison Lee’s attitude towards these drivers is completely unacceptable. This naked attempt at union busting has no place in the modern world of work.”
Chris Benson, head of Employment at Leigh Day, said: “These three men were trained by Addison Lee, they were required to work on standard terms which were dictated by Addison Lee and had to work to detailed practices, policies and procedures imposed by Addison Lee. They cannot then be sacked without notice or reason.
“Employers cannot be allowed to have all the financial benefits of employees and none of the responsibilities to these people’s livelihoods.
“The attempt to reframe normal employment as part of the gig economy is a serious threat to the financial security of thousands of hard working people and will end up costing the tax payer huge sums whilst companies take all the profit.”
2 GMB Press release 27 May 2016
GMB Members Lose Jobs After Peaceful Protest At Addison Lee
This clearly shows that Addison Lee has no interest in working with those drivers who have concerns says GMB.
At least five private hire drivers working for Addison Lee have been made redundant following a demonstration on Tuesday (24th May 2016) against poor operating terms and conditions at the company. (See notes to editors for previous GMB press releases about Addison Lee).
At a static protest held at 12 noon yesterday, staff from Addison Lee and parent company Carlyle Group intimidated GMB activists by taking down the registration numbers of Addison Lee vehicles and photographing those on foot.
Within an hour of the demonstration ending, Addison Lee terminated the contracts of three GMB group reps without explanation. At least five drivers have lost their jobs since the protest.
Steve Garelick, GMB professional drivers Branch Secretary, said “This is a despicable act clearly based on the direction of senior management at Addison Lee.
It clearly shows that the company has no interest in working with those drivers who have concerns.”
3 GMB Press release 23 May 2016
Private Hire Protest In Berkeley Square On 24th May Against Addison Lee Terms And Conditions
The current attitude of Addison Lee’s senior management is unacceptable and furthermore unsustainable says GMB.
GMB members working as private hire drivers for Addison Lee will block Berkeley Square on Tuesday (24th May, 2016) in protest over the poor operating terms and conditions implemented by the company. (See notes to editors for previous GMB press releases about Addison Lee).
GMB has raised a number of concerns with Addison Lee including increased commission from the company, fixed rate insurance and reduced fares, particularly at peak times.
GMB members will assemble at 12 noon on Tuesday 24th May 2016 at the address as follows:
Steve Garelick, GMB branch secretary for professional drivers, said“There is a growing discontent among Addison Lee drivers regarding their operating terms and conditions.
A group of drivers recently staged a demonstration in Berkeley Square and as a result we have been inundated with membership applications resulting in a substantial increase to our membership in Addison Lee.
GMB want Addison Lee to be successful and have no wish to damage the brand.
The current attitude of Addison Lee’s senior management is unacceptable and furthermore unsustainable.
We have told Addison Lee we don’t want to have to be like this, we want them to be successful, but when they keep imposing deals on people it doesn’t really fit. Contracts should not be a one-way street.”