Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1122/32079
From The Socialist newspaper, 24 February 2021
Uber drivers win case - they are workers
Now they must organise to implement ruling
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.
Donate to the Socialist Party
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 Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- We must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.
In The Socialist 24 February 2021:
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
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
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
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
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
Nigeria: Abbey Trotsky on trial for assisting workers' struggle
Facebook v Australian government: nationalise the bosses' media!
Film Review: The White Tiger
Tories admit guilt for asylum seeker neglect
Tories target universities in free speech shakedown
The Socialist Inbox
The Socialist 24 February 2021 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook