To: Jo Bertram: Head of Uber UK

Uber UK: Stop driving down workers' rights

Either give your drivers proper employment rights, or give them the freedoms of genuinely self-employed businesses.

Why is this important?

19 Uber drivers, with the backing of their union GMB, have won a landmark case against the app-enabled taxi firm, who have refused to give drivers basic employment rights. Uber have announced they will appeal the decision however, so this fight looks to have a long (and costly) way yet to go.

This legal case has exposed the dark side of the so called 'gig economy'. For many the gig economy is a rigged economy, where bosses weasel out of paying living wages. Or providing basics like paid holiday time.

If you are a ‘self-employed’ driver at Uber you are virtually a slave to app. Miss a job alert and you can be “deactivated” without appeal. Fail to keep up your rating and you can be cast aside at any moment.

“I guarantee you one thing, Uber don’t see drivers as humans.” Driver Ruman Miah told the Guardian earlier this year.

Being kept on a leash of a self-serving app is not most people’s definition of self-employment. Genuinely self-employed contractors can refuse jobs, set their own hours and sub-contract work to others.

But if you work for Uber you enjoy none of the freedoms of self-employment, and none of the security of regular employment - both ways you lose. It’s not surprising that many feel powerless and unable to speak out.

Whilst Uber are denying workers some basic employment rights, they’re also ducking these drivers’ National Insurance contributions. It’s taking millions of pounds from the Exchequer, but it also means drivers lose access to many important benefits if they need them.

Technological change should be a force for good. But increasingly it is being used to control and exploit workforces, and cheat them out of decent wages.

Uber can’t have it both ways. They should accept the tribunal verdict, drop the appeal, and either give their workers decent employment rights, or give them the freedoms of genuine self-employment.


Reasons for signing

  • Have not used uber since their Victorian practices came to light. How you can treat your fellow human beings like this? 70 hour weeks for a pittance. Uber needs to sort this out and offer their drivers either of the two options outlined in the article.
  • Another company joining the race to the bottom. We need stronger Trade Unions in the private sector as well as the public.
  • Uber drivers are not a self driver because uber control them via rating and can stop them from working at any time. There are no sick pay no holiday and no minimum wage we are working as a slave most of the drivers are doing 60 to 70 hours a week.

Updates

2017-02-27 12:08:53 +0000

Inside Uber’s Aggressive, Unrestrained Workplace Culture:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/22/technology/uber-workplace-culture.html?_r=0

2016-12-12 09:59:54 +0000

Uber drivers 'are treated as Victorian-style sweated labour' and are forced to work 70-hour weeks to get by says Frank Field MP.

Report compiles submissions from 83 private hire drivers, working with the firm:

- Drivers at risk of taking home less than a third of the National Living Wage.
- Drivers finding it increasingly difficult to obtain work, and must therefore stay on the road for extended periods of time to make a living.
- Drivers do not have the freedom to determine their own working patterns, as Uber holds the power to remove work from them if certain conditions are not met.

Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/dec/09/uber-drivers-report-sweated-labour-minimum-wage

2016-10-30 17:05:15 +0000

5,000 signatures reached

2016-10-28 17:00:08 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2016-10-28 16:38:29 +0100

500 signatures reached

2016-10-28 16:29:15 +0100

100 signatures reached

2016-10-28 16:28:28 +0100

50 signatures reached

2016-10-28 16:27:52 +0100

25 signatures reached

2016-10-28 16:27:11 +0100

10 signatures reached