Uber and UK union urge rivals to follow driver rights

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Uber has stepped up calls for tighter regulation of rivals in the UK following its latest meeting with a union representing drivers in the country.

This week, Uber met with union GMB to discuss in more detail the parties’ agreement in May that the union would represent some 70,000 drivers. The ruling follows a landmark Supreme Court ruling in February that Uber drivers are not contractors.

The ruling called Uber drivers “workers,” a distinction which is not quite the same as employees, but which entitles drivers to minimum wages and benefits such as paid time off and employees. pension contributions.

Following this week’s meeting, Uber reiterated its calls for other ridesharing operators to adhere to the Supreme Court ruling.

In an interview last month, Jamie Heywood, Uber’s managing director for Northern Europe, called out the company’s competitors in the UK, saying they too should follow these rules. He added that Uber only plans to work with GMB and no other unions in the UK on the issue of driver representation.

GMB agrees with this line and calls on Uber’s rivals to follow suit and grant more rights to their drivers. According to the union, this represents around 200,000 drivers in the UK.

A GMB official told Sky News that “people change” when asked why GMB is working with Uber, which has been the subject of regular criticism over workers’ rights.

“If you look at most of the big companies in the world today, at some point when they started they might have been asked about some of their practices,” he said.

“We don’t want a race to the bottom, we want a race to the top,” he added of his current goals for the country’s drivers.

However, Uber’s rhetoric has been criticized. The ADCU, the union behind the lawsuit that ultimately led to the reclassification of Uber drivers in the UK, has been unleashed in recent meetings between the ridesharing giant and GMB.

The organization said Uber “is not fully implementing the Supreme Court ruling” and has targeted drivers’ wait times between trips. He said drivers should be paid for these periods, which he said make up 40% of drivers’ working time.

“This excess of unpaid labor allows Uber to reduce response time for customers while increasing traffic jams, pollution and poverty for drivers and their communities,” he said.

Uber did not respond to a request for comment in time for the post.

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