Socialist Worker

Uber agrees to sick pay - but on its own terms

Issue No. 2606

Uber Eats workers on strike in 2016

Uber Eats workers on strike in 2016 (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Taxi firm Uber has announced it will introduce sick pay and maternity pay for its drivers.

The problem is that drivers will pay for it out of their own pockets. Sick pay will also be severely limited and drivers have to complete a certain amount of trips before they are eligible.

The money will come from the fee Uber takes from drivers as a “commission”, not from the firm itself.

Sick pay is to be capped at £1,125 for drivers.

The firm said it would give drivers “peace of mind while preserving the flexibility they value”.

The move comes as Uber tries to get back its licence to operate in London. Transport for London (TfL) decided not to renew the firm’s licence last September.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has made positive noises about Uber since its former CEO Travis Kalinick left.

Uber’s licence was not renewed after TfL found it unfit to run a taxi service.

Promise

Little has changed since then, other than new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s promise for the firm to be “a better listener.”

The firm is getting rid of diesel cars as part of its drive to sanitise its image in Britain.

The cost of this is likely to be passed onto workers as well.

It’s a scandal that the firm can pick and choose which rights workers can have.

Full employee rights are denied to Uber drivers. These include guarantees of the minimum wage and holiday pay.

James Farrar is from the United Private Hire Drivers section of the IWGB union.

He said “Sadly, this is once again a case of tinkering around the edges for a quick PR win, rather than dealing with the issue at hand.”


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