(London) Uber on Wednesday announced a “historic” deal with the British union GMB, which could represent the 70,000 drivers of the US car booking company in the UK.
“Uber and GMP will join forces to improve flexible work quality across the sector,” the group, which represents the “kick economy”, said in a statement.
“Through a collective bargaining agreement, the union will represent drivers across the UK. They will retain the freedom to choose when and where to drive (Uber) and they will have the choice to be represented by the GMB,” the group added.
As part of their agreement, GMB and Uber will work together on topics such as national living wage guarantees and other benefits such as paid vacations, pension plans and health care, or driver protection.
“This important agreement between GMB and Uber may be the first step to better working conditions for millions of people,” commented Mick Ricks, GMB’s national manager, who represents a total of 620,000 workers in the country. “We call on all other operators (‘kick economy’) to do the same,” he said in a statement.
“We always agree that drivers are a priority if Uber and GMP do not appear to be explicit partners,” said Jamie Howwood, one of Uber’s European managers.
In recent months Uber has begun a major shift in its attitude towards its drivers.
In March, he announced that he would be the first company in the United Kingdom to recognize its 70,000 drivers with a minimum wage and paid leave, while its drivers were considered self-employed.
The platform acted quickly after the defeat in the Supreme Court.
British law distinguishes the status of the self-employed or independent worker from that of the worker, who may receive the minimum wage and other benefits, and the status of employees who benefit from a contract. Works in perfect format.
Since 2018, drivers have also benefited from free health insurance and parental leave benefits.