Uber on Wednesday announced an agreement with British Union GMB, which would be able to represent 70,000 drivers.
70,000 Uber drivers in the United Kingdom may be represented under a “landmark” agreement announced Wednesday by GMB, a union that marks another upheaval for the American veteran’s model of the “gig economy”. The agreement comes two months after Uber recognized the position of a salaried employee for its British drivers with a minimum wage and paid leave, the first in the world for a car reservation platform, a symbol of the economy on the job.
The group said in a statement, “Uber and GMB will join forces to improve flexible working standards across the region. Through a collective bargaining agreement, the union will represent drivers throughout the UK. The latter retains the freedom to choose What will happen is what, when and where they drive (for Uber), and they will have the option of being represented by GMB, ”she said.
As part of their agreement, GMB and Uber will work together on topics such as national living guarantees and paid holidays, retirement plans, and other benefits such as health coverage or drivers’ safety.
Jamie Heywood, one of Uber’s European managers, said, “While Uber and GMB don’t seem to be the obvious allies, we’ve always agreed that drivers are the priority.” “This landmark agreement means Uber will be the first in the region to ensure full union representation for its drivers”, he said, who have also benefitted from the benefits of free health insurance and parental leave since 2018.
GMB national manager Mick Ricks, who represents a total of 620,000 workers in the country, hoped that “this major agreement” would be emulated. He said in the statement, “This could be the first step towards better working conditions for millions of people.” “We call on all other operators (‘gig economy’) to do the same,” he said.
In recent months, specifically targeted by legal proceedings, Uber has initiated a major change in attitude towards its drivers. In March, they announced their 60,000 drivers in the United Kingdom would recognize the hybrid status of salaried workers with minimum pay and paid leave, while previously considered self-employed, well-protected.
The stage worked quickly after a stunning defeat before the Supreme Court, which ruled in February that drivers could be considered “workers” and therefore benefit from social rights. British law distinguishes the position of a self-employed or independent employee from that of an employee who can receive minimum wages and other benefits, and from an employee who enjoys benefits. ” A formal employment contract.
Uber’s decision to give more rights to its drivers in March was welcomed by the unions and the government in the UK as a step in the right direction, the only country so far the group agrees. In Europe, he wants to repeat what he has proposed in California, ie independent drivers but who receive compensation.
However, the measure increased pressure on other digital platforms that thrive on the “odd jobs” economy, such as food delivery platform Deliveroo. The London Stock Exchange later had a tough start at the end of March, with investors cooled by disputes over the remuneration of its distributors, whose treatment in many countries is disputed in court.