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100,000 Strong Petition Demands Uber Respect Workers

Monday, September 18, 2017
  • Drivers' union GMB and global consumer group SumOfUs team up to deliver petition to City Hall this morning 
  • Licence renewal bid from Uber offers unprecedented opportunity for TfL to ensure company protects drivers’ rights and public safety
  • 72% of Londoners believe that TfL should require Uber to guarantee safeguards such as minimum wage and paid holidays for their drivers, according to new YouGov poll for SumofUs

GMB, the union for taxi and professional drivers, will today [Monday 18 September 2017] join forces with global consumer group SumOfUs to hand in a 100,000-strong mass petition to City Hall calling on Transport for London (TfL) to force Uber to respect workers’ rights or get out of London.

The £51 billion San-Francisco transport giant license to operate in London remains under review having been granted a four month extension in May 2017.

72% of Londoners believe that TfL should require Uber to guarantee safeguards such as minimum wage and paid holidays for their drivers, according to a poll of adults in London conducted by YouGov on behalf of SumOfUs. [1]

The mass petition will be handed in to Labour London Assembly Member Unmesh Desai, who has backed the campaign – and who will submit it to TfL as it considers Uber’s application for a new operating licence in London:

09:00am, Monday 18 September 2017

The Scoop, City Hall, The Queen's Walk, London SE1 2AA

GMB and SumofUs have gathered more than 106,000 public signatures asking TfL not to renew the license unless Uber guarantees safe working practices and basic employment rights to its drivers. [2]

In October 2016, an employment tribunal ruled in GMB's favour - determining that Uber drivers are workers entitled to basic workers’ rights and that the company are wrong to label them as self- employed. [3]

GMB brought two test cases to the Central London Employment Tribunal on 20 July 2016 and it has decided that Uber drivers are entitled to receive holiday pay, a guaranteed minimum wage and an entitlement to breaks. [4]

GMB’s successful legal action has major implications for more than 40,000 drivers across England and Wales – as well as for emerging employment practices in the so-called gig economy.

Steve Garelick, GMB Professional Drivers Branch, said:

“This is an unprecedented opportunity for TfL to show some muscle and force Uber to either treat drivers properly and protect public safety – or get out of London.

“GMB has campaigned long and hard to force Uber to give drivers the basic rights to which they are entitled, winning a landmark employment tribunal – it’s time they were told in no uncertain terms to respect the judgment.

“Now more than 100,000 people have signed this petition to show they back GMB's  fight and are sending a clear message to TfL to take action over Uber. No company should be allowed to behave like it’s above the law.”

Eoin Dubsky, SumOfUs campaigner, said:

"Transport for London has adopted great policies in the past on buying fair trade, guaranteeing a living wage, and even helping stop abuses in its electronics supply chains overseas.

"SumOfUs members helped secure that last one, and are adding our voices to the vast majority of Londoners, who say TfL shouldn’t let Uber continue running roughshod over drivers’ rights."

SumOfUs is a global consumer group that campaigns to hold big corporations accountable.

Over 10 million people have taken over 50 million actions worldwide with SumOfUs since it launched.

ENDS

Contact: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at press.office@gmb.org.uk

 

Details of petition delivery photo call:

09:00am, Monday 18 September 2017

The Scoop, City Hall The Queen's Walk, London SE1 2AA

[1] Poll: 72% figure is from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1,045 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th - 14th September 2017.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all London adults (aged 18+). Asked “Do you believe Transport for London (TfL) should or should not require Uber to guarantee certain safeguards for Uber drivers such as minimum wage, holiday/ sick pay etc.?”, 72% responded “TfL should require these safeguards”, 16% responded “TfL should not require these safeguards”, and 12% responded “Don’t know”.

[2] Uber: Respect Workers Rights Or Get Out Of London- 106,139 signatures

https://actions.sumofus.org/a/london-uber-workers-rights

[3] GMB Wins Monumental Victory In Employment Case Of The Year Against Uber

(28 October 2016) Similar contracts masquerading as bogus self employment will all be reviewed says GMB

Read more: http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/GMB-wins-uber-case

[4] GMB Fight 'Employment Case Of The Year' Against Uber (20 July 2016)

http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/gmb-fight-against-uber

The union found that a member working exclusively for Uber received just £5.03 per hour in August after costs and fees were taken into account, significantly below the national minimum wage of £7.20. Lawyers for the drivers also argued that Uber acts unlawfully by frequently deducting sums from drivers’ pay, often without informing the drivers in advance, including when customers make complaints.

 
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