Uber drivers are on strike today for better pay and against unfair dismissals

Taxi painted with the words "Uber Drivers Strike Oct 16"

Uber drivers are on strike today, and they’ve asked passengers to not cross the picket line and to boycott the service for 24 hours

Demonstrations are being held today in support of Uber drivers in eight UK cities.

Read on...

Still lacking workers’ rights despite the Supreme Court’s ruling

This February, Uber drivers won a massive victory in the Supreme Court. The Court upheld a previous ruling which affirmed that Uber drivers were workers and entitled to workers’ rights.

The decision from the court has forced Uber to pay its workers the minimum wage, holiday pay, and pensions.

But the App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU) says that Uber is not going far enough to respect the ruling, because it’s still not paying for the time that drivers spend waiting for their next customer. The App Drivers and Couriers Union explained in this tweet:

Another issue is that Uber is changing from its previous pay model – which was based on both time and distance – to a fixed fare model. This means that drivers will not receive any more pay if their fares are re-routed, or if there are heavy delays.

Unfair dismissals

The ADCU is also complaining that Uber has unfairly dismissed its workers. According to Uber driver Steve, a member of the ACDU:

You deserve to work without the fear of being deactivated at any point by Uber or any other apps

“We cannot keep going”

Steve continued:

We understand how difficult this pandemic has been for everyone. We just wanna send the message that we cannot keep going on with the fares going down to the bottom. At some point we need to be valued; at some point our work needs to reflect our costs

Messages of support

Many supporters have sent messages of support on Twitter

A global struggle against precarious work

The strike has received messages of solidarity from Uber drivers worldwide:

The Canary contacted Uber for a comment on the strike and the claims of poor working conditions and unfair dismissals. We had not received a reply by the time of publication.

And the strike has begun to bite

The ADCU tweeted earlier today that that the strike was biting during the Glasgow morning commute. It claimed that fares on the Uber app were significantly higher due to the lack of drivers.

Uber drivers have promised that today’s 24-hour strike is only the beginning of a long struggle. Their struggle is an important part of a global fight to force gig economy companies like Uber to end precarious work. Uber drivers need our support and solidarity today and for the long haul.

Feature Image via Flickr / Antoine Imbert

Get involved

  • Check out the App Drivers and Couriers union website
  • If you are a courier driver, ADCU is offering to investigate whether you are eligible to make a claim for backdated holiday pay and unpaid minimum wage here.

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