For the first time, Uber’s UK employees will be striking in an industrial action against the company after the rideshare business appealed against a ruling from the court.
24 Hour Uber Driver Strike
Across the United Kingdom, Uber drivers are preparing for a 24 hour-long strike against the company. This, as the rideshare firm continues its appeal against a court ruling that gives the drivers the same rights as employees.
The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) has called for a 24 hour strike among Uber drivers. It takes place on Tuesday, October 9, starting at 1 p.m. and will affect drivers in London, Nottingham and Birmingham.
Uber’s Court Battle
The drivers’ right to strike stems back to a court battle Uber lost back in 2016. At that time, an employment tribunal determined that the company was incorrect in classifying its drivers as independent contractors. Instead, the drivers have been given employee rights. That said, the company has continued its appeal against the tribunal’s ruling.
IWGB chair of the united private hire drivers, James Farrar, said that Uber is required to classify its drivers as “limb b workers”, the change has not yet been implemented, reported Sky News. As limb b workers, the drivers would be entitled to holiday pay and the minimum wage.
First Driver’s Strike
Tuesday’s strike is the first time that Uber has been on the receiving end of a strike action from a trade union. The IWGB also asked for the public’s support for its striking drivers. It requested that customers not “cross the digital picket line.” The public was asked not to use the app during the 24 hour strike.
Protests were staged by drivers outside Uber’s London, Nottingham and Birmingham offices. The IWGB is working its way through legal efforts to secure the rights of private hire drivers through the courts. It currently has cases against A2B Cars and Green Tomato Cars on top of the one against Uber.
Earlier in 2018, a statement from the company’s general manager, Tom Elvidge, said Uber admitted that its choice not to renew its London license was the correct one, as the rideshare business tried to manage its negative press.