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July 30, 2015

British driver’s union hits Uber with lawsuit

Uber accused of depriving drivers of basic rights.

By CBR Staff Writer

GMB, a British union of professional drivers, is preparing to slap a lawsuit against Uber for treating drivers as partners and depriving them of basic rights including minimum wage, paid holidays, health and safety rights.

The union representative body has asked law firm Leigh Day to go ahead with the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that the taxi hailing service has breached employment law in the UK by not ensuring that its drivers take rest breaks or work for a maximum number of hours per week that normal employees are entitled to.

GMB is demanding that Uber should ensure that its drivers are paid the national minimum wage, and receive paid holidays.

The union is also demanding Uber to implement rest breaks or work a maximum number of hours as it could reduce risk on the roads caused by stressed out drivers, and is asking to implement legal standards on discipline and grievances.

Leigh Day lawyer Nigel Mackay said: "Uber not only pays the drivers but it also effectively controls how much passengers are charged and requires drivers to follow particular routes. As well as this, it uses a ratings system to assess drivers’ performance."

"We believe that it is clear from the way Uber operates that it owes the same responsibilities towards its drivers as any other employer does to its workers.

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"In particular, its drivers should not be denied the right to minimum wage and paid leave.

"Uber should also take responsibility for its drivers, making sure they take regular rest breaks."

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