Australia: Uber to pay $272m compensation to taxi drivers

Uber has agreed to pay nearly $272 million to compensate taxi and hire-car drivers who suffered losses when the rideshare company aggressively entered the Australian market. The settlement, which amounts to $271.8 million, was reached just before a class action trial was set to begin in the supreme court of Victoria. This settlement, the fifth-largest in Australia’s history, concludes a legal battle initiated by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers over five challenging years on behalf of more than 8,000 affected taxi and hire-car owners and drivers.

According to Michael Donelly, principal lawyer at Maurice Blackburn, drivers and car owners experienced financial setbacks due to Uber’s forceful market entry, with the company resisting compensation efforts at every stage. The settlement still requires formal approval from the supreme court before disbursement.

Outside the court, Donelly emphasized the significance of the settlement for Australian taxi and hire-car industry members, portraying it as a victory for those who had suffered economic repercussions from Uber’s disruptive presence. He highlighted the resilience of these businesses, often family-owned and passed down through generations, which faced challenges when Uber disrupted the market.

Legal arguments suggested that Uber X’s launch in Australia aimed to undermine local taxi and hire-car drivers, utilizing unlicensed vehicles and drivers, misleading regulators, and obstructing authorities through geoblocking. Lead plaintiff Nick Andrianakis, a former taxi driver, welcomed the settlement as a relief for an industry that had been severely impacted by Uber’s actions.

In response, an Uber spokesperson referred to complaints from taxi and hire-car drivers as “legacy issues,” emphasizing the absence of ridesharing regulations when the company commenced operations over a decade ago. Today, Uber operates under regulations in all Australian states and territories, contributing to the overall transport industry and providing earning opportunities for numerous workers.

The settlement marks a significant milestone, surpassing previous legal attempts to address similar grievances against state governments. The supreme court is set to review the settlement for approval in April, while another proceeding brought by Taxi Apps Pty Ltd is anticipated to proceed to trial separately.

Latest articles

US: 40% of people exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution

According to a recent report by the American Lung Association, nearly 40% of people in the US are exposed to unhealthy levels of air...

Profits dip, Tesla comes up with new models

Tesla's profits have significantly declined this year, prompting the company to accelerate the release of new models and cut thousands of jobs in an...

Greece: Athens covered with orange Sahara dust haze

An intense orange haze has enveloped Athens, creating a surreal landscape as vast clouds of Sahara Desert dust have drifted over the city. This...

Argentina: People protest against cuts to public universities

Tens of thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, on Tuesday, to protest and for voicing their opposition...

Related articles