Uber Agrees to Union For U.K. Drivers

In a landmark deal, the ride-hailing giant allows U.K. workers to join a trade union.

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The GMB Union will represent at least 70,000 Uber workers in the U.K., Bloomberg reports.

“GMB will have access to drivers’ meeting hubs […] It will also be able to represent drivers if they lose access to the Uber app, and it will meet quarterly with management to discuss driver issues and concerns,” according to The Guardian.

But there are questions about Uber’s commitment level, based on the company’s past history, reports The Verge.

In 2017, Uber threatened to back out of areas, like Quebec, that don’t provide it legal favoritism. And in California, the ride-hailing giant campaigned alongside rivals Lyft, DoorDash and Postmates for voters to pass Proposition 22 which exempts gig-economy companies from a new employment law. They won — but drivers have reported falling wages since then. Uber is now attempting a similar move in New York.

But earlier this year, the U.K.’s Supreme Court ruled that Uber drivers were “workers” and should be entitled to minimum wage, vacation pay and pensions. 

The GMB says talks accelerated with Uber following the ruling. 

But there’s still one significant group of workers that’s been left out of the ruling and excluded from the recent union agreement: about 30,000 Uber Eats drivers. 

Uber and GMB have not yet responded to requests for comment.

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