Socialist Worker

Precarious workers march to bring rights back from dead

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2628

Precarious workers fighting for justice

Precarious workers fighting for justice (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Hundreds of workers and their supporters marched through London on Tuesday to demand an end to bosses ripping off “gig economy” workers.

The “Rise of the Precarious Workers” demonstration assembled at the Transport for London headquarters before marching to the Royal Courts of Justice.

It was called by the Independent Workers of Great Britain union and supported by Momentum, Bfawu, CWU, and United Voices of the World unions, and other organisations.

On the day, Uber drivers Yaseen Aslam and James Farrar were fighting a legal case for Uber drivers to be regarded as workers, not self-employed. This would give them more rights.

They won this claim at an Employment Appeal Tribunal last year, but Uber is appealing it. The case will have big implications for workers across Britain.

Yaseen told Socialist Worker, “We launched the campaign in 2015. We won in 2016 and 2017.

“Uber is prolonging this fight but we are growing stronger and stronger.

“We have opened seven branches now, and are helping drivers fight against Transport for London and councils.”

Workers from McDonald’s and TGI Fridays joined the demonstration, as well as students from the London College of Communication.

“We’re all fighting for the same thing,” said Bonnie from TGI Fridays.

“Managers want to cream off all the profit while treating us like excrement.”

Later in the day, protesters marched to the University of London where workers were striking as part of their campaign to be taken in-house.

Yaseen said, “In New York City the mayor has agreed a rate of pay for all taxi workers and protections at work. They have a strong union there.”

Muhamed, a driver, said, “We are going to force the politicians to take notice and take action.”

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