HUNDREDS of Uber drivers descended on the Royal Court of Justice yesterday as Uber appealed once more, attempting to overturn the historic landmark ruling two years ago that Uber drivers are not ‘self employed’ but workers with rights.
The result of the appeal is expected in the next few days. If they fail again Uber will have exhausted all their avenues for appeal, bar one: The Supreme Court.
Stephen Garelick, Branch Secretary of GMB Professional Drivers said: ‘We won two years ago and again on appeal, now they are appealing again. Clearly this speaks to Uber’s bloody mindedness and their absolute lack of acceptance of some of the finest legal minds in the land.
‘We won the right for Uber drivers to be recognised as workers, this is not just about them, this is also about other workers who are disenfranchised. ‘This speaks to the free market libertarian perspective that everyone is master of their own ship and in fact this is what people want. Nothing could be further from the truth.
‘What people want is quality of life and basic human rights; not to have managers trying to show off to senior managers about how dastardly they can be. ‘We are almost back to the stage of the gangmasters where they would pick workers for the day.
‘We demand a minimum living wage, holiday pay, sick pay and pension contributions. As well as the right to take real time off for maternity and paternity situations. ‘We not only wholly endorse a day of action next year of all precarious workers but also of all those who feel marginalised by companies and others.
‘This is a matter for all the unions and the whole population … we must be more socially responsible. ‘Anything which brings this government down I would advocate including a general strike, it is time for change.’
Karen Menpes told News Line: ‘I am a green badge driver but used to drive a private hire so I know how badly exploited they are. ‘So I trained up to drive a black cab and joined the GMB who are fighting for workers’ rights for private hire drivers including sick pay, holiday pay and minimum wage guaranteed.
‘At the moment that is not the case, so drivers are forced to work excessive hours, which impacts on public safety and their own safety. ‘The legal case is important because it will eradicate the predatory pricing of Uber drivers which will benefit us all.’