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London Mayor, Uber and GMB call for all private hire drivers to be workers

08 Nov 2021
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The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today welcomed the historic recognition agreement between Uber and GMB union and reiterated calls for all other operators to treat drivers as workers. 

The move by Uber earlier this year to provide all drivers with worker rights such as a pension and holiday pay was a major step forward and should now be applied across the whole private hire industry.  

In a judgment earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled that private hire drivers were workers and entitled to holiday pay, pensions, and at least the National Minimum Wage. The vast majority of drivers on Uber make significantly more.

 

Today Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, and the GMB’s General Secretary, Gary Smith, met with the Mayor of London to discuss their joint campaign to raise standards across the industry. There are currently over 200,000 drivers working on other operators who are denied the protections they are entitled to.

In May, Uber struck an historic deal with the GMB, who can now represent up to 70,000 Uber drivers across the UK and 45,000 drivers in London. Drivers now have an even stronger voice within Uber, as GMB helps shape the major changes that impact them. 

Gary Smith, GMB General Secretary, said: 

“The ground-breaking deal between GMB and Uber was the first step to making work better for tens of thousands of drivers in London and elsewhere. It showed us that standards can be raised across these industries.

“Earlier this year the Supreme Court said that private hire drivers are workers and entitled to holiday pay, pensions, and at least the National Living Wage.

"Uber has done this for its 70,000 drivers, but there are more than 200,000 more working for other operators being denied these basic legal rights. It is time for Bolt, Ola and Addison Lee to step up and comply with the law.” 

 

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said:

“Private hire drivers and everyone employed in the gig economy deserve the same rights as other workers. This sector has suffered disproportionately during the pandemic and as our economy continues to recover, it is now more important than ever that these workers can earn a decent wage, be able to take holidays, and earn sick pay.

“I welcome the agreement between Uber and GMB that is making tangible differences to the lives and living standards of Uber drivers. I hope other employers in the gig economy follow suit so we can drive up employment standards across London and the UK.” 

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, said: 

“Uber wouldn’t be what it is without drivers — they are at the heart of Uber. We’re proud to offer 70,000 UK drivers the social protections they are entitled to, but we are not the only player in town. 

“Many drivers work with several private-hire operators at the same time. It makes no sense that they should enjoy the protections of worker status on one trip but lose them on the next.”

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