Socialist Worker

Uber gives with one hand, takes away with the other

by Sophie Squire
Issue No. 2762

Uber drivers took action in 2018

Uber drivers took action in 2018 (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Taxi service Uber has revealed that it will cut the pay of some of the workers that have been at the company for the longest.

Longer serving drivers at the firm have previously have had 20 percent of their earnings taken by Uber as a service charge. Now the charge will increase to 25 percent, meaning the workers get a 5 percent pay cut.

Uber was forced in February to accept that drivers for the company were in fact workers, not self-employed.

And last month Uber struck a deal with the GMB union meaning that its 700,000 workers could claim union recognition.

But this agreement does not mean that Uber is willing to negotiate—especially over pay.

In fact the Financial Times newspaper reported, “Uber will not engage in collective bargaining over earnings, including the implementation of the minimum wage.”

Rights

Nader Awaad is the chair of UPHD which is part of the IWGB union.  He said, “We all knew that Uber would raid the drivers’ pockets to pay for them breaking the law and depriving drivers of their rights, and here they are doing exactly that.

“This shows Uber cannot be trusted.”

Uber is showing that despite admitting its workers are not self-employed and coming to an agreement with GMB it will continue to make assaults on workers’ pay and conditions.

Union leaders in the GMB need to go beyond striking deals with Uber bosses, and advocate for action, or these attacks will continue.

And if union leaders fail to do so, workers must organise and strike independently.


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