Business

100,000-name petition urges TFL to force Uber to heed workers' rights

A 100,000-name petition has been collected supporting a union campaign for taxi hailing firm Uber to respect workers' rights.
By Alan Jones, Press Association Industrial Correspondent

A 100,000-name petition has been collected supporting a union campaign for taxi hailing firm Uber to respect workers' rights.

The petition will be handed to Transport for London (TfL) today (Monday) by the GMB union and consumer group SumOfUs.

Research by SumOfUs showed that three out of four Londoners believe that TfL should require Uber to guarantee safeguards such as minimum wage and paid holidays for their drivers.

The GMB took a case to an employment tribunal last year as part of its campaign for better rights for Uber drivers.

GMB official Steve Garelick said TfL should take action as it decides on renewing Uber's licence.

"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," he said.

An Uber spokesman said: "Almost all taxi and private hire drivers have been self-employed for decades before our app existed.

"With Uber drivers are totally free to choose if, when and where they drive with no shifts or minimum hours.

"Last year drivers using Uber made average fares of £15 per hour after our service fee and, even after costs, the average driver took home well over the National Living Wage.

"We know drivers want more security too which is why we've invested in discounted illness and injury cover alongside other improvements like paid waiting time."

Uber pointed out that 3.5 million Londoners use its app in the capital.

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