A union in the United Kingdom representing the interests of Uber drivers has called a 24-hour strike for the future.
The Uber cable car giant may not feel comfortable thinking about the people who drive on its platform as workers but, in 2016, a UK employment tribunal ruled against its classification of a group of current and former drivers as independent contractors after they presented a legal challenge; and again in 2017, when Uber lost his first appeal against the court's ruling.
Although Uber's appeal continues.
Today, one of the unions that campaigns on behalf of people who provide labor on the platforms of the so-called "economic economy", The Union of Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB) announced the strike of Uber drivers.
He said that Uber drivers are demanding an end to unfair deactivations (described by the union as "de facto dismissals"); an increase in fares to £ 2 per mile (compared to the current rate of £ 1.25p / m in London); a 10% reduction in commissions paid by drivers to Uber (currently 25% for UberX); and urging Uber to immediately implement the court ruling and implement "employment conditions that respect the rights of workers for drivers, including payment of at least the minimum wage and paid vacations."
The union argues that Uber drivers must be classified as a Member (b) workers under the law of the United Kingdom, rather than "independent contractors" & # 39; as the company says.
Ask Uber users to respect the strike and not use the application tomorrow.
The president of the United Private Hire Drivers branch of IWGB is James Farrar, who was one of the former Uber drivers who brought the 2016 court action against the company.
Commenting on a statement, he said: "After years of seeing home and administration payments plummet, workers' harassment increased." The workers have had no choice but to strike. We ask the public to support the drivers by not crossing the digital picket line by not using the application during the strike time. "
The 24-hour strike will take place on October 9, starting on the 1 pm, in London, Birmingham and Nottingham 19659002] The IWGB said that participating drivers will hold protests in front of the Uber offices in the three cities at the start of the strike.
In a response statement sent by email to TechCrunch, a spokesperson for Uber told us:
"We always look to make improvements to ensure that drivers have the best possible experience and can make the most of their driving time in the application. That is why in the last few months we have introduced dozens of new functions, including the protections of illness, injury, maternity and paternity. An academic study last month found that drivers in London earn an average of £ 11 per hour, after accounting for all their costs and the Uber service fee. "We continue to look for ways to help drivers increase their profits and our door is always open if someone wants to talk to us about any problem they have."
A company spokesman also noted a number of changes that Uber has made since the court's ruling in the United Kingdom, including the expansion of a free insurance product offered to drivers and messengers, including sick pay. , injuries and maternity and paternity throughout Europe.
The spokesman also noted a number of other changes he has made, such as
He also highlighted Uber's recent launch of a new application for the driver with real-time earnings tracking and access to information about the data that is pretend to obtain. to help drivers increase their profits; and a 24/7 telephone helpline for drivers and passengers (which was actually a requirement of the London transport regulator).
The company also says that it has formalized the way it hears and responds to comments from drivers in each city in which it operates: although, not well enough to avoid this last strike.
All the changes you point out could be positive steps in terms of improving the Uber driver lot, but if the UK judges continue to find these people, they should in fact be classified as Uber workers you will find that you have to spend a lot more money to continue operating in Europe.
The company has previously said that if it had to provide all the ~ 50,000 Uber drivers "self-employed" on its platform in the UK with workers' rights it would cost their business "tens of millions" of pounds.
Uber's next appeal against the court ruling will be heard at the end of this month, from October 30 to 31.