Uber is set to reach a historic agreement with one of the UK’s largest unions, the first time the Silicon Valley company has recognized a union of its drivers anywhere in the world.
The GMB union will be able to represent tens of thousands of Uber drivers in the UK, giving them collective bargaining power, Bloomberg News reported, Citing anonymous sources.
The move followed The defeat of Uber this year in the UK Supreme Court, which ruled that its drivers are workers and therefore entitled to a minimum wage, among other benefits.
Big economy companies like Uber have been fighting against the union for several years, arguing that traditional employment structures were incompatible with flexible labor and fluctuating customer demand.
This is now beginning to change, particularly in Europe. Uber has already entered into collective agreements for its food delivery carriers Italy, while in Germany its conductors are employee through fleet management companies.
Unions representing the economy’s workers have emerged in recent years to push for greater protection, including Britain’s Independent Workers ’Union and the App Drivers and Couriers Union, but the GMB is the first to be recognized by Uber.
In the past, the GMB has been one of Uber’s most hostile critics, accusing the company last year of “Dickensian actions and attitudes not suited to today’s work” and encouraging the Transport decision for London in 2019. to suspend his London operating license, which was reinstated by an appellate court judge in September.
Last year, after a vigorous campaign by Uber and its rivals, voters in California approved Proposition 22, exempting gig-economy enterprises by a new employment law and by the strengthening of the status of drivers as independent entrepreneurs.
This week, researchers at Oxford University condemned Uber treatment of its drivers and food parcels. Uber received a score of just 2 out of 10 – below food delivery rivals Just Eat and Deliveroo but ahead of travel services Ola and Bolt – based on researchers ’assessment of fair working conditions included pay and appeal against management decisions.
James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam of the App Drivers & Couriers Union, who led the Supreme Court case against Uber, said the GMB deal was a “step in the right direction.” But they added that they were “concerned” about certain aspects of the agreement.
“At this time ADCU is not prepared to sign a recognition agreement with Uber,” they said, saying the company “continues to violate the basic employment law”.
“We are disturbed by Uber’s divisive and anti-union behavior in the United States, most recently in California and New York State, where Uber has used the emergence of strong collective agreements to effectively weaken workers’ power rather than that the opposite, ”the ADCU said. “Of course, we are concerned about Uber’s motivations on this side of the Atlantic, not only in the UK, but throughout Europe.”