Uber loses appeal over workers' rights court ruling

10 November, 2017, 18:05 | Author: Leticia Walters
  • Mike van Dulken 
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'Uber must now face up to its responsibilities and give its workers the rights to which they are entitled.

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

Uber said it would appeal against the tribunal's decision Friday.

The decision upholds last month's ruling by a London employment tribunal that Uber's drivers are entitled to holiday pay and the national minimum wage. A spokesman said the company had 14 days to submit its application and decide whether to apply to take the case to the Supreme Court, Britain's top judicial body.

Uber had appealed against the decision, based on a case brought by two drivers, James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam.

In another blow to Uber, the London employment tribunal has rejected its appeal against a ruling that its drivers in Britain should be classed as workers rather than as self-employed.

"Almost all taxi and private hire drivers have been self-employed for decades, long before our app existed", Tom Elvidge, Uber's acting general manager for the United Kingdom, said in a statement. Judge Jennifer Eady said even if drivers didn't have to accept all requests, the high percentage Uber requires of them proves drivers are "at its disposal".

The company has about 40,000 drivers and 3.5 million customers in the British capital.

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The GMB union, which represents some of the drivers, said Friday's verdict was a "landmark victory" for workers' rights. "As drivers who use Uber know, this has never been the case in the United Kingdom", he said.

"There's a definite sentiment that the law needs to step in and protect them", she said.

Uber, which is valued at around $70 billion with backers including Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, will be back in court on December 11 to appeal a decision by London's transport regulator to strip the app of its license. Following the licensing decision, new CEO Dara Khosorwshahi acknowledged that Uber "got things wrong" as it expanded around the world and said the company would change as it moves forward. "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".

In the meantime, the ripple effects of the case will expand. "Our clients have fought tirelessly to gain the rights that they clearly should have been afforded from the outset".

CRAPSI-CAB company Uber has lost its Employment Appeal Tribunal case meaning that it must now treat its drivers as workers, rather than as self-employed contractors.

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