14 August: Uber’s proposals fail to deal with drivers’ main concerns, the poverty wages they face working for the company, the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD) chair and Uber case lead claimant James Farrar says.
”This is a cynical PR move ahead of Uber’s appeal next month against last year’s employment tribunal ruling in favour of drivers. Despite its claims, Uber remains completely deaf to the most serious issue facing drivers – excessively long hours earning on average between £5 and £6 per hour,” Farrar said, “If Uber was more concerned about driver welfare than it is with propping up it’s own dreadful reputation, it would have abided by the tribunal’s decision and guaranteed drivers a minimum wage and holiday pay. Instead, we are talking about ‘innovations’ such as a ‘fairer’ rating system and a ‘no thanks’ button. We say, thanks Uber but ‘no thanks’.”
Uber is appealing the Employment Tribunal decision which last year ruled that Farrar and fellow IWGB member Yassen Aslam, among other drivers, were workers, and consequently entitled to the minimum wage when logged onto the app, as well as holiday pay. The appeal is scheduled for 27 September. The IWGB will be supporting both Farrar and Aslam, the lead claimants on the case.
While we welcome some of the changes Uber has said it is implementing, they are so timid and come so late in the game that they will barely make any difference to drivers’ lives and working conditions.
The in app tipping option is a welcome addition but Uber must change its marketing messages which currently discourages tipping to encouraging it so that drivers are not caught between a good tip and a good rating.
We welcome the change to ratings but it beggars belief that it took five years and extensive driver engagement to come to an understanding that a passenger who assaults a driver should not have the right to rate a driver and in so doing threaten their job.
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