Transport for London refused to renew Uber’s licence to operate in the British capital, arguing that it demonstrates a lack of corporate responsibility with implications in public safety and security.
It also said the car-hailing app was not “fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence.”
Immediately after the ban, Australia’s own Transport Workers Union (TWU) came out in support of the decision.
TWU boss Tony Sheldon has since written to state and federal transport ministers asking for a national audit of Uber, claiming the Australian version is “trashing community standards”.
The company is currently being investigated by the Fair Work Ombudsman which is looking into whether or not driver contracts breach Australian law.
“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,” Mr Sheldon said today.
“We are all for ride-sharing platforms, but they must not be built on poor safety, weak oversight and exploitation of drivers.”
And the TWU isn’t the only Australian organisation to be “pleased” by Uber’s London ban.
Australian Taxi Industry Association chief executive Blair Davies today “applauded” the decision Transport for London made.
“Uber have been flouting laws all around the globe and we’ve seen governments cave in to them, particularly in Australia and the USA,” Mr Davies said.
“We’re seeing more recordings of assaults of passengers in Uber vehicles, we’ve had an Uber driver convicted of rape in Sydney, we had a couple of drivers in Brisbane charged with rapes and another one charged with deprivation of liberty,” he added.
Transport for London experienced similar difficulties with the app, citing its approach to handling serious criminal offences and its use of software to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access as part of the reason why it was banning Uber.
The software especially prevented “officials from undertaking regulator or law enforcement duties.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he supported Friday’s decision, saying any operator of taxi services in the city “needs to play by the rules.”
He said that “providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security.”
Uber has vowed to challenge the decision which affects more than 40,000 drivers in a huge blow to the ride-sharing app.
“TfL considers that Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications.”
The final day of Uber’s licence will be on September 30.
Uber said it will appeal in court and the decision shows “the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies”.
“Transport for London and the mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice,” Uber said in a statement. “We intend to immediately challenge this in the courts.” Uber has the right to appeal the decision within 21 days.
In London, the company has faced criticism from unions, MPs and traditional black cab drivers over working conditions.
Uber has endured a tumultuous few months after a string of scandals involving allegations of sexism and bullying at the company, leading to investor pressure which forced out former CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick.
The app has been forced to quit several countries including Denmark and Hungary and faced regulatory battles in multiple US states and countries around the world.
Uber did not immediately respond to comment at the time of publishing.