Published: 00:01, 28 September 2017
An Uber driver is praying Transport for London reverses its decision against renewing the company’s operating licence because it could cost him £800 a week.
Dada Adejumo, who has picked up passengers using the ride-hailing app for two years, said he is “definitely” worried about his future after the shock announcement on Friday.
The father-of-four claims to earn about £1,400 over a “good” six-day week, working 10 to 12 hours at a time. That equates to more than £19 an hour.
He said he would “never” make that money working for a mini cab firm, where he says he used to earn about £600 a week over roughly the same hours before fees to the operator.
Uber drivers in Kent are equally affected by the decision not to renew the company’s licence in London as they are also licensed by TfL.
Mr Adejumo, who has been a cab driver for seven years, said he fears he will not be able to pay his sons’ university fees if Uber is unable to successfully appeal the decision.
He said: “I was so sad, believe me, throughout that day when I heard the news.
“When I got home my younger children were asking me ‘daddy, what’s going to happen now?’
“I have two people I’m sponsoring at university level. I’m paying their fees and one of my boys will go straight to university very soon. I don’t know what I’ll do.”
Mr Adejumo, who lives in Chattenden, near Strood, believes working conditions are actually better for Uber drivers compared to those working at minicab offices.
Video: Dada Adejumo speaks to Chris Price on KMTV
The tech giant is fighting an employment tribunal decision in October which said it must treat its drivers like employees, rather than self-employed, entitling them to the minimum wage and paid breaks.
Mr Adejumo enjoys the freedom given by the company, which allowed him to take a two-month holiday last year.
He said: “We are self-employed at the end of the day. It’s better than working for a minicab office.
“In a minicab office, you pick up a passenger from their base and, say you’re going to Heathrow, you drive them there and then have to drive back again to join the queue.
“With Uber, you don’t do that. You drop off and can pick up another passenger straight away. It’s a very good company.
“[If the decision is upheld] I’ll have to go back to the minicab office where there is nepotism. You have to influence the controller to give you good jobs.
“Otherwise you have to scramble for all the little £5 jobs. Most of the time you sleep in the car waiting for the next job to come.
“With Uber you don’t have to influence anyone. If you’re hard working you get the sort of jobs you want. If you need to put in more hours and want to do 10 hours a day, with Uber you can do that.
“With a cab office you would really have to struggle.”
Mr Adejumo, 55, typically starts his day with a few pick ups in Kent before working his way into London, where he does most of his jobs before coming home.
He admits having to work hard to earn as many fees as possible to mitigate the low fees charged by Uber.
“With Uber you don’t have to influence anyone. If you’re hard working you get the sort of jobs you want..." - Dada Adejumo
He said: “It’s very cheap to the riders. The driver knows the fees are cheap so we know we have to put in more hours to earn more.
“I’m comfortable with that because I’m busy all the time. You hardly find time to sit down for 10 minutes without getting a job.
“Sometimes you are in a bad location and you have to change it to a hot point like west Kent or Chelsea, where Uber are very busy.
“You have to be hard working and put in the hours but you can make your money.”
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