Uber gets a London rival
Uber has lost an employment tribunal appeal against a ruling from last year which found that Uber drivers should be classified as workers, rather than self-employed contractors. That makes them entitled to national minimum wage and benefits like holiday pay, though Uber has been arguing that it acts as an agent for drivers with a business similar to that of a regular minicab firm.
“Over the last year we have made a number of changes to our app to give drivers even more control,” says Uber UK in response to the ruling. “We’ve also invested in things like access to illness and injury cover and we’ll keep introducing changes to make driving with Uber even better.”
Last week, UK thinktank the New Economics Foundation announced a crowdfunding campaign to develop a driver-owned minicab firm and ride-hailing app to provide an ethical, co-operative rival to Uber.
“The prospect of Uber losing its licence in London places a once unthinkable alternative on the horizon – a new ride-hailing app, owned by its employees and which gives a fair deal to both drivers and passengers, says the thinktank. “Our alternative will be low-cost, fast, flexible and easy for all.
It adds, “If we come together to stand up to Uber in one of its most important markets, it will demonstrate that the new digital economy doesn’t have to come at the expense of basic rights for workers or put us at the mercy of tech giants playing by different rules to other businesses.”