Economy

Uber Loses Appeal In UK As Tribunal Reiterates That Drivers Are Workers

Uber Loses Appeal In UK As Tribunal Reiterates That Drivers Are Workers

American ride-hailing service Uber received another blow in its important British market after an employment hearing Friday ruled the firm's drivers are entitled to basic protections such as minimum wage and vacation pay.

The decision, which affirmed a ruling issued past year, means that Uber will have to ensure that its drivers in Britain receive a minimum wage and paid time off.

"In the US, state-level labor bodies have made decisions about individual Uber drivers being entitled to benefits".

"I am glad that the judge today confirmed what I and thousands of drivers have known all along: that Uber is not only exploiting drivers, but also acting unlawfully", he said.

"GMB is delighted the EAT made the correct decision to uphold the original employment tribunal ruling". "We will carry on fighting until this exploitation stops and workers' rights are respected".

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Two drivers, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam, won an employment tribunal case previous year after arguing that they were "workers" and entitled to the minimum wage, sick pay and paid leave. "We have done everything we can, now it is time for the Mayor of London, Transport for London and the Transport Secretary to step up and use their leverage to defend worker rights rather than turn a blind eye to sweatshop conditions". The ridesharing company plans to appeal yet again to higher courts. In the United States, Uber drivers are contractors, not employees, a classification that has angered some labor activists. "The main reason why drivers use Uber is because they value the freedom to choose if, when and where they drive and so we intend to appeal". Drivers point out that Uber controls prices, penalizes drivers who decline too many trips in a row and sends a variety of instructions to drivers.

To check whether drivers can serve as contract workers for the tech start-up, Uber says it requires all applicants to provide their full name, date of birth, social security number, driver's license number, a copy of his or her driver's license, vehicle registration, vehicle insurance, and a valid bank account.

"Over the a year ago we have made a number of changes to our app to give drivers even more control", Elvidge says.

Of course, there's a downside to all this that the UK's left-wing politicians fail to grasp.

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