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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 February 2021

Uber drivers win case - they are workers

Now they must organise to implement ruling

  (Click to enlarge)

Charlie Taylor, Derby Socialist Party

Uber drivers have finally won their rights case at the Supreme Court. Their union, GMB, describes it as "historic".

The ruling determines that drivers are not 'self-employed', but are workers entitled to workers' rights - including holiday pay, a guaranteed minimum wage and breaks.

It went on to say that the drivers are workers from the moment they switch on their apps, and are available for work in their area, to the time they switch their apps off at the end of the day.

This means that Uber drivers are entitled to claim minimum wage - including back pay. These claims would be based upon their entire working day, not just when they had a rider in their cabs. They can also claim 5.6 weeks annual leave.

Leigh Day, the lawyers fighting the case on behalf of the GMB, says tens of thousands of Uber drivers could be entitled to an average of 12,000 each in compensation. Uber has refused to accept this, and says only a small number of drivers are involved.

This is a welcome victory for Uber drivers who work under poor pay and conditions. One driver, who submitted a claim in 2018 against Uber for unpaid holidays, had been driving for Uber since 2016.

Since then, he hasn't had a single paid holiday, despite at times working up to 70 hours in a seven-day week. When he took a couple of weeks off, on his doctor's recommendation, to address (unsurprising) back pain, he wasn't covered, so lost income for that period.

The ruling shows that organising wins. Gig economy workers must organise to ensure the Supreme Court decision applies to all.

The Socialist Party supports a fully funded, environmentally friendly and cheap public transport system, with trade union rates of pay and conditions for all.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 24 February 2021:


Covid

Where's the road map to jobs and wages Boris?

Johnson's 'road map' for schools: Act together to protect safety

Vaccine algorithm can't solve capitalist inequality

Garment workers and Covid: Dying for less than minimum wage


What we think

Starmer's speech a return to New Labour


News

Justice for Moyied Bashir

Uber drivers win case - they are workers

Social care: End privatisation and let workers decide how it's run


Lessons from history

How militant trade unionism defeated the 1971 Industrial Relations Act


Workplace news

Usdaw elections - right makes gains but Broad Left builds

HMRC: Divisive pay deal leads to expulsions

Hinkley Point electricians fight 'deskilling'

"I'm here to fight for the future education of children in Hackney"

London bus dispute against low pay, pay cuts and longer hours

GMB members continue fight against 'fire and rehire' in British Gas

Scunthorpe steelworks scaffolders: Fifth week of action


TUSC

Liverpool Unite branch supports 'no cuts' budget strategy

Scottish TUSC election campaign launch

Keep the fighting fund rushing in for a TUSC stand in May


Campaigns news

W. Sussex children's centres on the chopping block

Coventry success building subscriptions

Socialist Students conference - postering

Save John Carroll Leisure Centre

Getting the Socialist out in lockdown


LGBT+ history month

Pride flag is about unity in struggle

Tories tout toilet tensions


International news

Nigeria: Abbey Trotsky on trial for assisting workers' struggle

Facebook v Australian government: nationalise the bosses' media!


Readers' opinion

Film Review: The White Tiger

Tories admit guilt for asylum seeker neglect

Tories target universities in free speech shakedown

The Socialist Inbox


 

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